Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This is me on Tuesday. Minus about 10 inches of hair that I woke up with that morning.

My sister has a friend, one of the best friends that any girl could hope to have, a beautiful person who loves unconditionally, has true faith, and a generous spirit. This past winter she was diagnosed with cancer. She is 21 years old, about to graduate from college in the spring and engaged to be married to the love of her life.

When her friends from college found out, everyone was horrified and the news spread through the grapevine. Because there were so many unknowns, we were all afraid of the worst...that we might lose this special, wonderful, inspiring person who we all loved so much. It was incredible how many lives she had touched with her kindness and compassion. I probably said a million prayers in the days after we found out, prayers that she would have the strength to get through this, that she would feel the full love and support of all her family and friends, that the diagnosis would be better than everyone predicted.

Although she is still battling an aggressive disease, we are all filled with hope that she will survive and come out stronger than before. She has an amazing support system and enough prayer shawls to swaddle a small army of baby Jesuses. But there are still tall mountains to climb and struggles to overcome before it is all over. One of those struggles is the sickness and side effects of chemo and radiation...which include hair loss.

And that brings me to why I'm missing 10 inches of hair.

Even though my hair won't cover her head, it can make a wig for another woman who faces the sadness that comes from losing something that we connect with our identity. Two years ago, when I donated my hair the last time, it was to Locks of Love - the organization that makes wigs for children who experience hair loss for all types of reasons. This time, in honor of my sister's friend, I wanted it to go to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign so that it can be made into a wig for another woman who loses her hair due to a battle with cancer. I feel like it's the least I can do to honor everything that her friendship has meant to my sister. Just one small reminder for another woman with cancer that she is still beautiful and that she means the world to someone - probably more someones than she'll ever know.

If you would like to make a hair donation, please check out both of the links above. They support two totally different missions, and there are different requirements for each, which may help make your decision about where to send your hair donation.

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