By Holly Munsie
Kaitlyn started to grow her hair out at the age of 3 or 4 when she decided that she wanted her hair to be long, just like Rapunzel. Her haircuts were just trims so that it would keep getting longer and longer. By the age of 7, her hair was very long, but almost always up in a ponytail or braid.
Last year, I saw an article in The Bedford Citizen that I read to Kaitlyn. Her friend Emma and some other girls were collecting toys from their birthday parties to donate to Boston Children’s Hospital. Kaitlyn said that she wanted to do something to help children who were sick too. We talked about some ideas and she decided she wanted to donate her hair to provide a wig for a sick child.
We found the non-profit organization Wigs for Kids, which provides Hair Replacement Systems and support at no cost for kids who have lost their hair due to a variety of medical problems. These medical issues include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, and burns. Since children often prefer longer hair, donations to Wigs for Kids must be at least 12 inches long.
That requirement set Kaitlyn’s goal for how long she needed to grow her hair before getting it cut. This year on January 31st, she decided it had finally grown long enough and she went ahead with the big cut. She is thrilled with her new short hair and so glad that her 12 inch hair donation will help a child who really needs it. She is also hoping that by sharing her story, she can help inspire other Bedford kids to donate their hair too, just as Emma’s story inspired her.