Glittery henna crown on child cancer patient in chemotherapy (photo)

Sara's Henna, a henna shop in Hong Kong where ladies go to doll themselves up with temporary designs based on Indian tradition, did something really cool: inspired by Henna Heals, they traveled to Children's Cancer Hospital Pakistan, and spent some time with Maryam, "the most patient & radiating young girl undergoing chemo, yet wearing a beautiful smile." She wore her sparkly Henna Crown for the Muslim holy day of Eid last Sunday.

This seems like a seriously awesome thing to do in pediatric cancer care centers. As soon as I get through radiation, I'm gonna talk to the peeps at my hospital about doing something like this with kids and adults in chemo. Never underestimate the healing power of a little beauty-fussing.


  1. Wonderful.  When my dad had chemo, I urged him to shave his head and be badass.  Instead he got a wig.  It made me sad.

    1. That’s one of the reasons that people who have had cancer often tell people who get cancer not to pay too much attention to other people’s advice.

  2. What a great idea, and what a sweet little girl.  A lot of effort is spent trying to hide bald heads, but adorning them is much nicer: Hey, more skin to decorate!

  3. That’s beautiful. If she — or you — set up a system I would happily donate to see her and others get paid for taking the time to make children like Maryam happier.

  4. Her happy smile is wonderful but I have to say that I will never understand make up. I mean, she can’t even SEE it! Who is it really for?
    That goes for face painting, too. I just don’t get it. Yes, I realize that apparently everyone else gets it, it makes no sense to me.
    Plus I can’t stand having goop on my skin like that, most especially on my face.

    1. There has to be one in every crowd.

      We get it: YOU don’t like something, so no one else is allowed to appreciate it.

        1. Her comment was entirely about herself.  Not about how the child might feel, for example, or the individuals and organizations who have teamed up to provide a supportive service to children battling for their lives.

          I have a couple of close relatives like this.  You mention that you’re in pain from the surgery you just had that day, and they immediately tell you all about how they’re finally rested from their jet lag.  (Real example from this week, in fact.)

    2. She can see it.  When she catches a glimpse of herself in a reflection (and that happens a LOT), this might help her to feel beautiful and unique.

      Facepaint and other bodily adornments bring easy fun and decoration into the world, and you can carry it around with you all day.

      Plus, I know I smiled when I saw these photos.  It must feel good to have people smile at you so much after constant looks of concern and/or pity.

    3. Let’s say that some school bully (who shall remain nameless) had his friends hold you down while he shaved your head.  Without having personally experienced it, I imagine that’s pretty much what it feels like for a little girl to lose her hair to a disease that she can barely understand.  She needs to find coping mechanisms, and this head-painting helps to compensate for the loss of her hair, her self-image, her identity and her trust.

  5. Beautiful. Right when I was ready to write off the human race, I read a story like this. SamSam is 100% correct, this needs to be a charity, of which I would more than happily donate time and money to.  Where do I sign up?

  6. Really sweet and heart-warming. I have no doubt that that being fussed over and receiving positive attention will be soothing and uplifting for patients.

      1.  I’m glad that this specific group knows the difference — what worries me is others who might think they are doing something to help by going out and buying over-the-counter henna kits that aren’t necessarily safe, or going to henna artists who aren’t scrupulous about using safe products.

  7. Cute idea bit kinda ugly.  When I saw the pic for the article I though “What kinda disease gives you dark squiggly veins on your scalp?

    1.  THAT’s what you chose to reply with?  Obviously, the little girl loves her designs, as many other admirers do, too.  If you don’t, you’re welcome to keep that opinion to yourself. 

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