First, it was Lugo; then, Chavecito. Now, a new South American head of state (pun intended) has gone bare:
The former president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, shaved his beard and head in anticipation of hair loss due to chemotherapy, which he began on October 31, for laryngeal cancer.
The job of shaving the former leader fell to his wife, Marisa Leticia, who published on her Web page a picture of Lula, bald and beardless but still wearing his mustache and a smile, getting a hug from the former first lady, who wore a sweater with a logo from a campaign against breast cancer.
In another photo, Marisa Leticia can be seen passing a razor over the face of the former president.
Lula, 66, received a diagnosis of cancer of the larynx on October 29, and two days later began chemotherapy treatments in the Syrio-Lebanese Hospital of São Paulo, where the illness was diagnosed.
The former president stayed in hospital a few hours and later returned to his apartment in São Bernardo do Campo, near São Paulo. He has received various visitors since then at his residence, among them current president Dilma Rousseff, his successor.
Rousseff, who was also treated for lymphatic cancer while a minister in Lula’s cabinet, visited him on November 10 and affirmed afterwards that he is doing very well. She was accompanied on that occasion by the Brazilian minister of health, Alexandre Padilha.
In his own case, Lula is receiving prescribed medication intravenously, and has received countless messages of support from foreign dignitaries, Brazilian politicians, and anonymous citizens.
The medical team ruled out an operation due to the intermediate stage of the tumor, and considers the likelihood of a cure to be high, given that the cancer is localized and has not metastasized.
Latin America has already seen presidents such as Fernando Lugo of Paraguay and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela left bald as a result of chemotherapy.
Here’s the other pic of Lula, getting his shave:
And yeah, he looks a little less like an Ewok, for the time being. But like Chavecito and Lugo (and Dilma, too!), his prognosis is good. And baldness becomes him, especially when he smiles.