Alabama teenager donates his hair, raises money for children with cancer

Kieran Moïse, 17, before and after getting his 19-inch hair cut and donated to the nonprofit Children With Hair Loss, which provides human hair replacements to children and teens dealing with medically-related hair loss, in Huntsville , ala. (Courtesy of Gregg Gelmis via AP)

Kieran Moïse’s afro was a gorgeous 19 inch, a big part of his personality. But after six years of growth, the 17-year-old Alabamian knew he and his hair would soon part: He was on his way to the US Air Force Academy.

So in memory of a friend who died of cancer, he cut it off and donated it to the nonprofit Children With Hair Loss, which provides human hair replacements to children and teens dealing with medically related hair loss due to cancer treatments. , alopecia and burns.

“I knew I didn’t want it to just be cut off and thrown on the floor, so I wanted to give it back,” he said. “I knew I wanted to send a message.”

He did – and many responded. Moïse printed flyers and spread the word on social media for an event being held by the nonprofit at a brewery in Huntsville, Alabama. There, family, friends and even some of his elementary and middle school teachers took turns cutting his hair in braids. His story was widely shared online.

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“It’s good to see good news and to see… that people are still doing good things because all it does is inspire others,” he said.

“That’s really what I want to get out of this: I want other people to say, ‘Hey, if he does this, I can do that too.'”

Moïse also launched a fundraiser through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which had helped his late classmate, Josh Quist. He died when they were in high school. “Then I started hating cancer,” Moise said.

Initially, Moïse hoped he could raise $19,000, or $1,000 per inch of hair. “Kieran’s Curls for Cancer” has exceeded expectations and has already raised nearly $35,000 for St. Jude.

Small gestures of kindness, Moise said, can spread. “When you smile, it usually makes someone else laugh, and then that one smile can brighten someone else’s day,” he said.

“I know I’ve had rough days where someone just does something nice for me or I see them do something nice for someone else, and I remember that all day.”

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