Osoyoos girl cuts her hair for first time to assist other children battling illness

By on April 23, 2014
Crystal Zimmerman, 6, shown with her mom Carli outside of Exquisite Hair Salon on Main Street in Osoyoos, recently had her hair cut for the first time. She wanted to donate her hair to the Angel Hair for Kids program. (Photo supplied)

Crystal Zimmerman, 6, shown with her mom Carli outside of Exquisite Hair Salon on Main Street in Osoyoos, recently had her hair cut for the first time. She wanted to donate her hair to the Angel Hair for Kids program. (Photo supplied)

Crystal Zimmerman picked a very good reason to have the first haircut of her life.

“My mom had told me about kids who lose their hair because of cancer … and I wanted to help them,” said the kindhearted Grade 1 Osoyoos Elementary School student.

So that’s exactly what she did a couple of weeks ago when she had her beautiful long, blonde hair cut several inches.

All of her hair was donated to the Angel Hair for Kids, a program associated with A Child’s Voice Foundation that provides wigs and hair-loss solutions to financially disadvantaged children in Canada who have lost their hair due to a medical condition or treatment.

After hearing her parents, Elliot and Carli, talk about the Angel Hair for Kids program, Crystal told them she wanted to get her hair cut as quickly as possible to help other children who aren’t as fortunate as she is.

Her father said Crystal made it very clear this was something she wanted to do to try and make a difference in a positive way for another child.

“We don’t know anybody who has cancer and we’ve been very blessed in our family to not have anyone with cancer, but she wanted to do this, so I talked it over with my wife and we helped her make it happen.”

Exquisite hair salon hairdresser Hailey Walker agreed to cut Crystal’s hair free of charge.

Crystal said she wasn’t worried at all about having her hair cut for the first time in her life.

“I know it will grow back,” she said smiling. “I wasn’t scared at all.”

Her father said he couldn’t be prouder of Crystal.

“I was more scared than she was because she has such beautiful blonde hair and she had never had it cut before, but she was great and wasn’t nervous or upset at all,” he said.

While she had so much of her long locks cut off, Walker added some hair extensions and coloured them in pink highlights.

Crystal’s parents were on hand for the big occasion as were her two brothers and both sets of grandparents.

Crystal is looking forward to growing her hair long once again and having it cut off so she can donate once again to the Angel Hair for Kids program as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, she’s looking forward to spending less time taking care of her hair and having more fun outside this summer.

“When I go swimming in the lake, my hair will dry in a hurry now,” she said.

Using hair that is generously donated to the program, the Angel Hair for Kids foundation can create wigs and hair systems and provide them at no cost to the child’s family.

It takes 10-12 donated ponytails to make one hair prosthesis and $800 to $1,000 is budgeted by the foundation to cover manufacturing and related costs.

Every year many children in Canada will lose their hair due to conditions such as cancer treatments, alopecia and even burns.

The association’s website states the organizations “believes that providing a wig or hair loss solution will increase a child’s self esteem and improve their self image, during a difficult and sometimes painful time in their lives.

“We hope to help them face their condition and daily life with a greater confidence. Since the program’s inception only three years ago we are proud to say that we have helped over 150 children, and the demand is steadily increasing.

This special program is unlike any other and is the only one of its kind in Canada. Every Angel Hair for Kids recipient is given a personal appointment at a salon that specializes in wigs and hair loss.

These salons have been pre-selected by the foundation due to their experience, ability and desire to work with children in need.

With care and compassion the experts walk the child and their family through the process of selecting a wig or hair loss solution that meets their needs.

Once selected, the hair prosthesis is fitted and styled especially for that child, making it their very own.

In addition, the child will receive a kit that includes a wig stand, shampoo, hair brush and care instructions. If a child is too ill to come in to the salon Angel Hair for Kids will arrange for a salon professional to come to them.

A Child’s Voice Foundation is committed to understanding the needs of children and celebrating their diversity. Research is conducted regularly to better understand hair loss conditions and the children affected by it.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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