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May 1, 2012

Our Neighbors: Child goes to ‘Beautiful Lengths’ for others

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Taylor Ann White, a 6-year-old kindergarten student at Bush Elementary, grew her hair for almost nine months just so she could cut it off and give it away.

During a routine check-up for school at the pediatrician, Taylor saw pictures of girls on the walls that interested and also fascinated her.

“These girls all had short hair and were holding ponytails,” said Bo White, Taylor’s mother. “Taylor asked what they were doing and why their pictures were hanging in the doctor’s office.”

Bo explained how the girls had grown their hair long and were giving it to other girls who are sick and have lost their hair. Taylor was so taken by this she talked about it to her doctor and continued to tell it to everyone that day including family members.

Taylor is the big sister of Gage White, the daughter of Greg and Chastity Bo White, and the granddaughter of Patricia Sherman, Jerry and Barbara White and Cathy White.

Wanting to know more about the ‘hair thing’ when they arrived home, Taylor asked her mother to look for information on the computer. “Instead of blowing-it-off, I went to Pantene Hair Donation, read and showed her the whole process and what the true meaning behind it was,” Bo said. “She was so amazed with this. But, she was saddened by the children who had no hair and talked about how lucky she was to have hair.”

The next day Taylor and her mother went to Walmart where Taylor saw a little girl just a year or so younger than herself.

“She had no hair and was prancing around like she had no worries at all,” Bo said. “Taylor began to cry, as I was kneeling down trying to find out what in the world she was crying about, she said ‘I want to give that little girl my hair.’ I cried as well, and while hugging her told her that we would do so.”

The little girl had leukemia and she became Taylor’s inspiration. “She was the most vibrate, positive role model you will ever meet,” Bo added.

“I have always raised Taylor with the process of explanation and I was so happy when she chose to do this. She is a very outgoing, vibrant girl and is so mature for her age. I knew she could and would do this.”

Bo and Taylor both agreed the growing out process was quite difficult. “I fought with her over tangles and long hair being in her face and over her eyes,” Bo said.

“Once I said to her, ‘Taylor, let’s just go ahead and cut your hair. This is driving me crazy trying to keep up with it.’  She swiftly swung her hair as she turned her head and said ‘No, I am giving that little girl my hair so she will be able to fix it with bows just like I do.’ I of course began to cry as I was the failure in the situation, trying to take the easy route instead of working to help someone else.”

Bo and Taylor worked super hard to keep her hair in good condition. They kept it brushed and measured it often to see how much more it needed to grow.

The day finally came, about a month ago, when Taylor was able to donate her hair. She was so excited she invited her Nana, Patricia Sherman; her friend Leah and her favorite teacher, Chelsi Hinkle (pre-school teacher at Bush Elementary) to go watch her get her hair cut. Taylor’s pre-school classmates also thought it was ‘cool’ that she was growing her hair for another little girl.

“We went to our beautician, Lindsay Jackson at LeChic Hair Design,” Bo said. “Taylor was so excited she was smiling from ear to ear.”

“When it was time, I jumped in the chair so Lindsay could get me ready,” Taylor said. “I asked everyone in the salon to come watch.”

 “Everyone stopped what they were doing to watch Lindsay cut 10 inches off  Taylor’s hair,” Bo said. “When she finished, they all clapped and gave her a big hug.”

Lindsay said she considered it an honor to cut Taylor’s hair.

“I have cut about 15 other individuals who have donated their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths or Lock of Love. And I consider each one an honor,” Jackson said.

Taylor, who has always had long hair so that she could put bows in it, is enjoying her short hair and said “I want to keep it short for now but, in the future I would like to grow it out again to give to another little girl.”

“I feel like a ‘big girl’ because we can style my hair and I don’t have to worry about matching hair bows.”

Taylor is so proud that she cut her hair. She tells everyone who compliments her new hairstyle that she donated her hair to children who have cancer.

“When we went to the post office to mail her hair, I let Taylor stand in line and send the package herself, as I watched from the door. She is so proud and happy that she has done this for other children. When you donate your hair, you are giving a precious gift to a person in need.”

“I am so proud of Taylor and happy to see her hair cut. She was so determined to complete this journey she started in July 2011 and to see her complete this amazing adventure was a true blessing.”

“I hope other girls may see the importance of this and want to grow and donate their hair to those who are not as fortunate. April 27 was National Donate Your Hair Day and I can only pray that others will give to this amazing cause as it helps so many others in so many ways.”

 

About the Program

Created in 2006, Pantene Beautiful Lengths inspires people to grow, cut and donate their healthy hair to create free, real-hair wigs for individuals who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. To date, Pantene Beautiful Lengths has received more than 311,000 hair donations from generous men, women and children. The American Cancer Society distributes the wigs through their nationwide network of wig banks at no cost. Since the start of the program, more than 18,000 real-hair wigs have been provided to female cancer patients.

For more information on donating your hair, visit www.pantene.com and click on beautiful lengths.      

sminton@sentinel-echo.com

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