Butler County girls honor classmate who survived cancer with event to cut hair for donations

Jody Cole, from American Hair Company, cuts the hair of fourth-grader Sophia Muniz. Several Madison Elementary School students and teachers donated their hair Monday, March 1, 2021 to help others who made need it. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Jody Cole, from American Hair Company, cuts the hair of fourth-grader Sophia Muniz. Several Madison Elementary School students and teachers donated their hair Monday, March 1, 2021 to help others who made need it. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A group of generous and now shorter-haired girls at Madison Schools decided other children and teens battling illnesses needed their tresses more than they did.

So Monday saw 10 girls from Madison Elementary, who were joined by an equally shorn teacher, getting their hair clipped off to donate to a national organization’s work of converting gifted locks into wigs for the ailing.

Hair stylist Jody Cole professionally handled the snipping honors and said the collective act of kindness was an emotional one for her having watched her daughter – Madison High School senior Mattie Cole – battle hair loss as part of surviving cancer.

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“It’s important to me because my daughter had cancer and lost all her hair. Their hair is their glory,” said Cole.

“I teared up when they asked me to help. It means more to someone like me who has been through and it meant a lot to my daughter when I told her they were doing it. It is a very brave and selfless thing to do for someone else,” she said.

Student Sophia Muniz said wanted to help those stricken by hair loss through illness “because their hair can’t grow back … mine can.”

Gazing in a mirror at her new haircut she said “I love it.”

Sarah Dunaway, a Madison kindergarten teacher who joined the girls in donating hair, said “when I was younger I donated my hair a lot and as I got older I made a friend whose daughter has alopecia.”

“Plus in my life I’ve been given a lot of things. I’ve been blessed with the recoveries of my family and myself from Covid … and it seemed right to give back at this time and this was the perfect opportunity with it being done here at school,” said Dunaway.

The hair cutting and donating event is the first part of sending the hair to the national Children With Hair Loss, a non-profit organization “that provides human hair replacements at no cost to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss,” according to its website.

“When a child’s hair is lost due to Cancer treatments, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, Burns, etc., the painful effects are far deeper than just cosmetic. Each year, the number of children requesting our hair replacements increases,” stated officials from the group.

Dunaway said the hair donations “makes her feel happy.”

“And if I can be a role model for them (students) about doing something to give back, then that is awesome as well.”

Photographer Nick Graham contributed to this story

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