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.