Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Hairy Week - Part Two

In the previous blog post, if my contention is correct concerning our desire for good hair and the continual pursuit of such a thing, then it may be considered quite a sacrifice when a person chooses to have their long locks cut off for a more noble cause than their own appearance. I witnessed and even participated in such an event this past week.

My home school, Walker Elementary, along with Pantene Beautiful Lengths, hosted an assembly on Wednesday in honor of the two teachers at our school who are battling cancer, myself and Caryn P. (Yes, there are two of us at the same school. If you are a praying person, please pray for Caryn, our wonderful music teacher.)

Pantene Beautiful Lengths hosts an event in our area each year, in conjunction with the LPGA, where women (and, I suppose, some men) can donate their hair. This hair is used to create wigs for cancer patients who’ve lost their hair due to chemotherapy. The organizer of this event, who has a daughter at Walker, asked if we might be interested in participating and even kicking off this event with an assembly at our school. The trick was finding people willing to donate at least 8 inches of their hair. Amazingly, this was not hard to do.

At Wednesday’s assembly, we had two current students, one former student, and one staff member willing to have their lovely long locks lopped in front of their peers. This was beautiful, exciting, and touching to behold.

Amy, our computer lab teacher, who has not had short hair in 25 years, was one who agreed to undergo this dramatic change. When I saw the tears in her eyes following my rather awkward chopping of her thick red hair, I was touched and a bit worried. How traumatic this must be! But she insisted, however, that they weren’t sad tears, but tears of joy. What a wonderful tribute to life and a show of solidarity for Caryn and myself and against the trauma that cancer brings. Someone somewhere will get a beautiful wavy red head of hair, thanks to Amy’s beautiful lengths.

It was wonderful to see Sidonie, a former student. She has grown into a lovely young lady, and still has the most amazing deep red hair…the kind people pay big bucks for. As I cut through her two long thick ponytails (pre-banded by the event organizers), I thought of the time it took her to grow that beautiful hair, and I thought of the young girl who used to stop in and visit in both the art room and the library. She was always one of those students who was more mature than most and who seemed to enjoy the company of adults…a precious young lady. And here she was, in my honor, letting me cut that gorgeous hair…something I would NEVER dream of doing before.

Our two youngest volunteers, Kelsee and Karla, both had marvelous dark brown hair. They had an amazing attitude and gave what they had with a smile and zero hesitation, then left with a new hairstyle and a goodie bag full of styling products, still smiling. My heroes.

I was, once again, struck by the serendipity, or perhaps irony, of it all. Considering this was also the day that I first noticed my own hair turning loose from my scalp, I can’t think of anything that could have made that knowledge any easier. Truly, this event was such a blessing to me.

This coming Wednesday there will be another Pantene Beautiful Lengths event at Embassy Suites, in partnership with the LPGA, and I am honored to be participating. I know we have several more teachers, students, and even parents who will be donating their hair, along with many others from the community.  Your sacrifice means a great deal to me and to many others in my situation.  It's not just the hair, but the show of solidarity in this fight against this horrible, unexpected, and frightening disease.  To each and every one of you, I say thank you.

If you live in Northwest Arkansas and are interested in donating, email

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