Recently, one young man has changed my mind. I’…ve watched this young man through our Cub Scout program. While I don’t know him well, I’ve always felt he was a nice kid. He has this beautiful wavy hair which kept getting longer and longer.
I was asked to photograph him with his hair just a few days ago. This is when I learned the story behind his long locks. I did not expect to be so touched.
19 months ago, he approached his parents and asked if he could grow his hair out for charity. His Mother, Carlissa explains, “As parents, how do you say “no” to that kind of request? Even if he is a boy. We were truly impressed that Owen would be interested in such a program. We took the time to explain to him how long it might take and that it wouldn’t be an easy task. Owen has incredibly thick, wavy hair. It will be hot in the summer. It will get tangles, lots of them. It will be hard to take care of. None of these issues seemed to bother him.”
While photographing Owen, I got the opportunity to talk with him about his experience. Owen says the biggest challenge was “all the knots and tangles.” As a parent of an 8 year old daughter with longer hair, I completely understand. As we do, Owen’s parents would put in a ponytail or braid at night to help control the knots.
Owen and his family do not directly know anyone who would benefit from his donation. He was inspired by a teacher at his school, Oakhill Day School; that had grown her hair to donate. Owen’s biggest surprise throughout his experience, “No one else did it.”
Today was the big haircut event; his entire School came out to support Owen during the completion of his “hair” journey. It was an emotional day for many involved; especially friends and family that have witnessed his journey firsthand. Owen has been inspiration. His story will be broadcasted on tonight’s news on Channel KSHB 41 and KMBC Channel 9.
Owen’s hair is being donated to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program. Beautiful Lengths is a program that helps people grow long, strong, beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs cancer patients. As Owen stated, his big surprise in this journey was that “no one else did it”; please consider supporting kids like Owen by donating your hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program or another hair charity organization that benefits those affected by cancer.
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