In fewer than two weeks, a Rockville hair stylist will unveil three wigs she made from a local 10-year-old boy who grew his hair out for a little girl who had cancer.
"I'm happy to show people that something amazing can be done with African-American hair," said Reniece Goodwine, owner of Reniece & Co., who wants to show people that there is a place for kinky or curly hair in the donation industry.
When Goodwine cut 10-year-old Thomas Moore's hair in September, it was at his waistline. It took four hours to treat and cut off 16 inches. A before and after photo posted by his aunt on Twitter went viral. The picture was liked more than 100,000 times.
my nephew grew his hair out for two years to donate to kids with cancer 😭 pic.twitter.com/YuamNNcMEI— amber lynne (@storkpatrol) September 11, 2016
The 5th grader from Bowie, Md. grew his hair out for two years in hopes of giving it to a 6-year-old girl named Kyssi Andrews. Thomas saw a picture of her online without hair in 2014. He asked his mother why Kyssi was bald. She explained the little girl had cancer and underwent chemotherapy to treat it. That's when he decided to grow out his hair for her.
Sadly, Kyssi died in June 2015. While the two did not know each other personally, it was a loss that cut Thomas deep.
"I cried, but I didn't stop growing my hair," Thomas said. "I just wanted to help someone."
His hair weighed 7 ounces compared to an average of between 1.8 ounces and 2.2 ounces when it was cut.
"That's almost unheard of on just one head of hair, especially for a child," Goodwine said.
Thomas had enough hair to make three wigs. Since September, Goodwine has spent 4 to 6 hours a day working on them. She is almost done with the third wig.
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Goodwine told WUSA9 two families that have been affected by cancer will be honored at an event called "Big Hearts and Bundles." Kyssi's family is the first one. The second honoree is the family of Damiyah Telemaque-Nelson, a 5-year-old who passed away from cancer as well. Thomas will be honored for being selfless and generous.
Together, Goodwine and all of these families hope to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. The Kyssi Andrews Foundation for Pediatric Cancer will also be honored. Donations will be accepted.
"Big Hearts and Bundles" will take place December 3 at the Woman's Club of Bethesda from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Goodwine said she has a few surprises in store for those who attend the ticketed event. Without going into much detail, she told WUSA9 the three wigs made from Thomas’ hair will be unveiled and given to three recipients.
The social media campaign, #BigHeartsandBundles, recently launched online. You can keep up with developments or share your thoughts by using the hashtag.
Remember 10 y/o Thomas Moore, who grew his hair for a 6y/o w/cancer? He had enough hair for 3 wigs that will be unveiled & given away Dec.3 pic.twitter.com/Jh8n3UJqdC— Mikea Turner (@MikeaTurnerTV) November 21, 2016