Aunt And Uncle of Kid Cancer Survivor Donate 23 Inches for Wigs
The Pantene Beautiful Lengths program gives free wigs to women battling cancer
After growing out his usually chopped coiffure for a cause near and dear to his niece, Allen Nelson said he has a new found respect for women with long hair.
“I give them credit,” he said. “Maintaining it is a lot of work.”
Nelson, a volunteer Mahwah firefighter, and his wife Debby, decided to grow out their do’s so they could donate their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization that the couple’s niece, Mary, says she supports because it helps kids like her everyday.
Mary Nelson was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis in 2010. The progressive genetic disorder causes tumors on nerve tissue. For Mary, this debilitating condition resulted in an optic glioma, a tumor on the optic nerve.
This March, the nine-year-old received a Dream Room Makeover, when a crew from the charity organization and a team of about 300 volunteers from in and around Mahwah who surprised Mary and her family when they completely redecorated her bedroom with a groovy 70’s theme.
Since then, Mary’s family said she’s been recovering well. And, a lot of her hair, which she lost during chemo treatments, has grown back.
Though her hair wasn’t yet long enough to donate it, Mary said she was happy her family members could donate on her behalf.
“I was so happy to see them do it,” she told Patch. “I thanked them, and I’m sure one day I can do it too.”
Mary’s mom, Kim, said the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program can be a big help for families dealing with cancer.
“It gives people free wigs, and those can be really expensive,” she said. “Things like that really help when you’re dealing with so many other costs.”
According to Pantene’s website, the program is a partnership between the hair product company and the American Cancer Society aimed at helping cancer patients feel and look stronger and healthier. The program has donated over 24,000 “free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks, which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country,” the website said.
The Nelson’s have a lot of hair in the bank – Debby donated 10 inches, and Allen donated 13.
“I know a lot of guys don’t usually think to do something like this, but I would definitely recommend it,” Allen said. “Anyone can do it, just take the plunge.”
Get more information about Pantene Beautiful Lengths here.