Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former president of Brazil, famous for his beard for decades, got a new look after his wife Marisa Leticia shaved off his iconic beard and his thick head of hair ahead of chemotherapy therapy for throat cancer.
Pictures released by the former leader’s press office showed a sequence ending with a bald and beardless Lula da Silva, though still with his moustache, after his wife shaved him.
The look is a radical departure from the hirsute appearance that Lula da Silva, 66, has had throughout his public life and since he began his career as a union leader in the seventies.
Earlier this month the former Brazilian president completed a first chemotherapy session without complications after he was diagnosed with the most common form of throat cancer. Apparently no metastasis has developed.
The former smoker, who is known for his raspy voice, is scheduled to undergo three rounds of chemotherapy at 21-day intervals by year’s end, followed by radiation therapy in January.
His doctors have rated Lula’s prospects for recovery as “very good.”
The ex-president, who stepped from power in 2010 after two four year mandates and was replaced by Dilma Rousseff, was diagnosed with cancer in October. He underwent surgery soon after.
President Rousseff, who also received chemotherapy treatment for a lymphatic cancer in 2009 when she was a cabinet minister visited her political mentor at his home together with Health Minister Alexandre Padilha and said that the Brazilian leader was “in good spirits and doing fine.”
Lula has been visited by other Brazilian members of the political system and has received support messages from world leaders as well as from thousands of admirers.