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Morrow student donates hair to cancer patient

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Lacy Walker didn't cry on March 22 as her hairstylist gathered 11 inches of her hair into a ponytail and snipped it off with a pair of scissors.

Walker, 9, a third-grader at Morrow Elementary School, never had a significant haircut in her life. She'd only had trims to remove split ends. The hair had grown past her waistline.

She now has a shoulder-length bob cut.

Walker never fretted over losing her hair, because she knew it was going to a worthwhile group -- the Locks of Love organization. The agency urges females, with at least 10 inches of hair, to donate their excess hair, so a wig can be made for a cancer patient.

"I'm glad I did it because it's a good cause," Walker said. "I feel good about helping a little girl with cancer... I think she's going to feel good because she's going to have hair."

Lacy Walker's donation has piqued the interest of her classmates. They are now collecting money for Relay for Life, which benefits the American Cancer Society. She's been talking to her fellow pupils about the Locks of Love organization and how it can help other children.

"Lacy's always been known for being extremely generous and willing to help others," said Patricia Williams, a counselor at Morrow Elementary School.

The third-grader follows in a family tradition of donating hair to Locks of Love. Her older sister, Jessica, a freshman at Forest Park High School, did the same thing when she was 10.

"I'm very proud of both of my daughters," said Shelly Walker, the girls' mother. "They are both very giving individuals. One time, we visited a sick boy in the hospital and Jessica gave him her Game Boy while Lacy gave him some games to play.

"I feel like" giving up her hair for Locks of Love "teaches her to think of other people," her mother added.

Lacy decided to give up her long hair after visiting a friend who is a hairstylist. The stylist began talking about how long Lacy's hair had become, and she then brought up Locks of Love, her mother said. The stylist talked to Lacy about what the organization does, and how her hair could make a girl with cancer happy.

Hearing about little girls who lost their hair because of cancer brought sadness to Lacy, though. She quickly decided to part with her locks, if it meant bringing joy to someone else. She said donating the hair taught her a core value about dealing with other people.

"It taught me how to share with other children, especially those who don't have anything," she said.

Lacy said she believes any wig made out of her hair would be long and wavy since her hair is naturally that way. She wouldn't be surprised if her hair becomes a curly hair piece.

"If they could make it into two wigs, that'd be awesome," she said. "Then I'd be helping two little girls."