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Local girl donates 15 inches of hair to locks program

By Michael Davis

When 15-year-old Rachel Peters of McDonough decided to get her hair cut, she decided to do it for a good cause.

Donating 15 inches of her dark brown tresses to Locks of Love to be made into a wig for child cancer patients, Peters said she was glad to be able to give something she had so much of to someone who has so little.

"The main reason I did it was because so many children lose their hair when they have cancer," Peters said. "It just makes me feel good inside to do it."

The Peters' know firsthand what it's like to know a child with cancer. Three years ago, 3-year-old Elizabeth Santorine, the niece of one of the Peters' sons-in-law succumbed to leukemia after chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

"We knew about (Locks of Love) through Elizabeth's parents and a friend of mine that's a hairdresser," said Lora Santorine, Elizabeth's aunt who lives in Ohio. Santorine said her husband Adolph has been growing his hair so that he can donate it to Locks of Love in his niece's memory as well.

"But he still has a ways to go," Lora Kaye Santorine said of her husband's 10-inch locks.

Rachel Peters' father was sad to see his daughter's hair cut. Though it's still more than shoulder length, he said he cried at his daughter's recent first haircut.

"I just think she looks so beautiful with long hair," said Daniel Peters. But he said he consented because it was for a good cause.

Rachel Peters said she is excited about her new hairdo and the possibilities it brings.

"It was very exciting and neat to have it a different length," she said.

Not the first in the family to donate hair to Locks of Love, Rachel's mother Lorita said that another daughter, 38-year-old Lynne Evans, donated 12 inches of her hair recently.

"And we've got two more that are supposed to donate soon," added Daniel Peters.

When asked if she would grow her hair back again, Rachel said she is starting to miss the length she once had and would likely let it grow again.

"I like having long hair," she said.

To make a donation or for more information on Locks of Love, visit www.locksoflove.org.