An 8-year-old boy in Florida spent two years growing out his hair, even enduring taunts from other kids for looking like a girl, all so that he could donate his blonde locks to children who've lost their hair due to cancer treatment, burns or alopecia.
It all started when Christian McPhilamy saw a commercial for the St. Jude Children Research Hospital that showed childhood cancer patients, many of whom didn't have hair, Today Parents reports. He and his mom, Deanna Thomas, have a nightly ritual where they spend some time Googling something interesting before bed; after seeing the commercial McPhilamy insisted on learning more about St. Jude and why those kids were missing their hair. An advertisement for a charity that takes donated hair was among the results, and when he found out he could help, his mission began.
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On May 20th McPhilamy finally met his goal hair length and was able to donate four 10-inch ponytails. But it wasn't an easy journey.
McPhilamy's mom, Deeanna Thomas, was proud and supportive of his decision, but others weren't as enthusiastic. Thomas posted his story on Facebook stating, "he has endured an awful lot of criticism, and yes even bullying, throughout this time. From his peers calling him a girl to even coaches and family friends telling him he should cut it or offering him money to."
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But even through the bullying and peer pressure, Deeanna always knew her son would follow through with his goal. "Usually when Christian sets his mind to something, he pretty much goes with it. He doesn't let anything falter his goals," Deeanna told Today Parents.
Ultimately, McPhilamy decided his locks would go to Children with Hair Loss, a Michigan-based non-profit 2000 that provides wigs and care kits to children who have lost their hair, without any cost to the child or their family.
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See all the photos from Thomas' update.