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Wigs For Kids Donors Share Why They Made The Cut

Earlier today, over 30 members of the Penn State family cut at least a foot of hair off of their heads For The Kids. All donations are given to to Wigs for Kids, which “provides Hair Replacement Systems and support for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, burns and other medical issues at no cost to their children or their families.”

In order to qualify for a donation with Wigs for Kids, hair must be a minimum of 12 inches long when pulled straight. As the 31 individuals lined up, bystanders admired the stacked twist-ties in their hair showing stylists where to make the cut.

While anxiously awaiting the event, the girls joked about the real benefits of cutting their hair, it  takes less time to style and saves money on shampoo and conditioner.

However, when asked why they made the decision to donate their hair, each individual had a unique and powerful reason.

Morgan from the Penn State Crew Team told me about her journey to the THON stage. “I decided to donate my hair because the first THON family I met, the mom shaved her head for her daughter. I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen,” she said. “It’s the most selfless act you could ever do, it’s amazing, and it’s for the kids.”

Similarly, Yasin from Heal donated in honor of her THON child, Becca, who relapsed a few months ago.

Some individuals, like Mary from the Student Society of Architectural Engineering, donated their hair once or twice before. “I don’t need it anymore,” she noted. “I might as well grow it out and give it to somebody who does.”

One of the most touching stories of the bunch came from the mother of a Four Diamonds Family.

Amanda Bobby told us that her son was “diagnosed with ALL in 2010 and, even though he never needed a wig, being able to do something that I know I can for some other child means the world to me,” she said. “My daughter donated her hair two years ago for Wigs for Kids on stage. So this is something very special to us.”

The genuine intentions of each individual shined when they sported their short hair off-stage for the first time.

Alexandria, a sophomore who THONs with the Sapphire Leadership program, was visibly moved as she told me that the founder of Wigs for Kids, Jeffery Paul, cut her hair himself. She proudly clutched a handful of hair after the cut.

“I wanted to give back to THON in a new way,” she said.

Immediately after the initial chop on stage, all 31 participants were taken to several studios and salons in downtown State College to get their new haircuts styled to perfection.

When I asked how she felt about her transformation, Bobby reflected that “hair is hair, but a child going through treatment it’s a lot for them to undergo and just being able to give them something back is wonderful, truly amazing.”

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About the Author

Alex Calderaro

Alex Calderaro is a junior majoring in Supply Chain Management from Central Jersey. As a first generation Penn Stater, she has found a home here in several places, including her sorority, and, of course, Onward State. You can contact her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @alexcalderaro.

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