Hair-raising help

"My hair doesn't grow that fast to do it every year," said McGuire. "I do it every two years because that is how long it takes me to grow it again."

The organization provides hairpieces for children under 21 years old suffering from long-term medical hair loss, which can result from various conditions besides undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. There are approximately 2 million children in the country suffering from alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disorder causing hair follicles to stop producing hair, according to LOL. Also, if a child receives a severe burn to their scalp, permanent hair loss can occur.

"It helps children that have lost their hair due to medical disease, most often it is cancer and chemo, and they create the wigs for them and custom fit them to their head," said McGuire.

While a wig will not cure a child of their disease or medical condition, it can provide a sense of social relief and acceptance.

"They get bullied and they get picked on for being different and it is just one way they can help lead a more normal life," said McGuire.

To ensure donators look good after their hair is chopped off, hairstylist Lori Hyson-Zyra, of Victoria Adamo Day Spa, volunteers her skills. McGuire said students volunteer too, with older students having hair styling skills also lending a hand, while younger students help clean up. Some students donate their hair too.

"The kids are often just so proud and happy that they can help other people," said McGuire. "It is a great feeling to watch all these kids and parents that are so proud."

Some people even came to both previous fundraising events, and former students have returned to donate their hair once again. For some kids it is their very first hair cut, she said.

"It is great for me that something I care about does leave an impression on former students and even kids in my class," she said.

To sign up for the fundraiser e-mail donatehair@mohonasen.org or contact Rita McGuire at Bradt Primary School at 356-8400 with questions. For information on the event visit the Mohonasen Central School District's website .""

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