Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Great Day for Great Lengths

There are no words to describe how inspiring Great Lengths day was for me personally. Every hair donor had a reason for enduring months, even years, of growing their hair out for this cause. The women who will receive the human hair wigs will probably never meet her donor this side of eternity, but it didn't seem to bother the men, women and children who cut their hair.

I want to thank St.Dominic Cancer Services for sponsoring Great Lengths and for housing the wigs in their 'wig room'. And a great big thank you goes to the Mississippi Institute of Aesthetics, Nails & Cosmetology in Clinton for hosting the event.

I spoke with several cancer survivors who had lost their hair through cancer treatment and were able to receive a wig through the Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program. They all had one things in common: a grateful heart for those who donated hair for their wig. One cancer survivor even decided to give back for the gift she was given 3 years ago and had her own hair cut yesterday for someone else.
One 7 year old girl donated in honor of her classmate who has leukemia. Her classmate was supposed to cut her hair for her, but her friend was put back into the hospital yesterday morning. I watched as the stylist cut her hair for her instead, but you could see her friend weighed heavy on her heart. Here is kind-hearted Lauryn Jones after her cut:
I witnessed husbands cut their wives hair, children cut their mom's hair, and sibling get their hair cut in memory of another sibling who had passed away. Just when you think you've had a bad day, you see bald cancer survivors walk in and cut their friend's hair who are donating in their honor. Here are just some of the many pictures taken throughout the day:

Kendall Johnson donated his hair....
Teresa Allred from Brookhaven let me cut her hair (and she was all smiles
after I butchered it!):

Friends Stacy Seago grew her hair in honor of her friend Brandy Boyd who is battling a brain tumor removed. Brandy has already lost most of her hair, but she was gorgeous!
My hair tends to be highly criticized among our viewers (along with many other aspects). Several years ago, I decided to turn what is often talked about into something positive that could be used for others. It was also a teachable moment for me to my oldest daughter, Gracie, in how you're never too young to have a tender heart in giving when there is a need. Here are our before & after pictures:

My friend and cancer survivor Stella McNeer from Raleigh cut my hair. Stella lost her hair during her cancer treatments and received a Pantene's Beautiful Lengths wig. Her "chemo curls", as she puts it, have grown back and so has her hair. It was a humbling moment for her to have been a wig recipient and see the throngs of donors stream through the doors. Here we are after the final cut:
There were so many people who made this day such a success and it began with the hair donors. I honestly tried to take pictures with anyone who asked, tried to thank everyone personally and tried to listen to every story told to me. While I was being pulled in many different directions at once, I was still grateful to every single person who selfishly gave of their time. If I didn't get to speak to you, I sincerely apologize. Although my husband may totally disagree, I wish that I could've been cloned just so I could have had 15 minutes with every person, but that wasn't an option.

Although the poundage of hair is being weighed, at the end of the day we had 1,010 people donate their hair for Great Lengths. As far as we know, this is the largest number of hair donations in 24 hours to a charity. Thank you, Mississippi, for growing, cutting and sharing for your friends.


Anonymous said...

Barbie your hair is beautiful, I wish I had known that was happening yesterday because I would have loved to participate, my Momma was diagnosed with breast cancer in 5 years ago, it went from there into her espophogus then her adrenal glands while last year Feb 2010 we buried her sister from Melanoma then in 2008 I had a brain tumor removed and hemorraged and almost died leaving me with seizures then my 7 year job fired me pushed me into disability and now I'm 48 living like I'm 65, I took care of my Momma and very thankful for every moment I had with her, we got her home in Sept because she begged to go home , we got her home and 2 days later Sept 25th 2010 she went to be with the Lord, they had put a trech in her throat and she was so upset cause she could not sing out loud for the Lord anymore but I smile crying now knowing She's singing praises to him now, thank you 4 what you are doing for these wonderful ladies. God Bless You Always Jana French

Shea Stringer Long said...

your new cut is too cute.
I have tears reading your story. my heart is full and the Lord is good, thru the good & bad.
you are amazing and all you do.
God Bless you.

paige white said...

Barbie, you look beautiful and 10 years younger!

Samantha said...

How very awesome!! And I LOVE your new "do"!!

Sara said...

Love the sassy new do!!