Metchosin 9-year-old donates first haircut in 5 years to cancer charity
If you ask Keilah what she’s best at, the nine-year-old will answer quite quickly. “Probably being myself,” she smiles, before bursting into infectious laughter.
And being Keilah means jumping on the trampoline in the sun, doing 50 pushups just for fun, and growing her hair really, really long.
“When it’s all brushed out it’s very soft,” she says.
And when her thick, red hair is not brushed out, Keilah’s mom Marina says it’s a disaster.
“My husband, bless his heart, is an amazing dad,” Marina says. “But he did not brush her hair for two full weeks while I was away.”
When Marina returned home, expecting her daughter’s hair to look like waves cascading past her waist, she found it knotted and matted in a clump on her head. The only remedy was cutting it all off.
“Ever since then,” Keilah says. “I’ve been growing my hair out for five years.”
Then one day: “Mom, I want to shave my head,” Keilah recalls saying when she returned from school. “And we both started sobbing.”
Keilah has just learned about cancer after suddenly losing her nana to the disease.
“I think the emotions just rose up,” Marina says. “She realized it’s not just old people, it’s children too. That’s where it really hit close to home.”
While Keilah wanted to shave her head, she talked with her parents and decided to do something for charity. The girl started an online fundraiser to support Wigs 4 Kids BC with a goal of raising $250.
So far, she’s raised more than $1,600.
But that’s not all. Keilah is also donating more than half her hair, approximately 15 inches.
“I’m nervous,” Keilah says as the stylist readies her scissors. “And very excited.”
This is the nine-year-old’s first cut since she was four.
“Oh my gosh,” she whispers as the weight of her hair releases. She reaches to feel what remains, before covering her mouth with her hands. “That’s so weird!”
Her defining feature is now a selfless gift, with just two conditions: brush often, but have fun even more.
“I really hope they enjoy it,” Keilah smiles, holding on to the long lock of hair. “And it makes them feel happy.”
While Marina couldn’t feel more proud of her girl – “It’s just heart throbbing!” – she says Keilah’s act of kindness is also being recognized from above.
“I think nana’s looking down and crying in heaven” Marina says, holding back tears. “And is so proud of her granddaughter.”