Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 • Girl celebrates Christmas by cutting her hair

A young Lassen County girl turned the Christmas holiday into a happy event to help another youngster with health issues.

Cody Smith, 10, displays a section of her hair she cut off to donate to a young cancer victim at St. Jude Hospital.

Cody Smith, 10, cut her hair Saturday, Dec. 20 and donated it to an organization that will use her hair to create a wig for a child receiving treatment at St. Jude Hospital.

Mandy Smith, Cody’s mother, said after her daughter decided she wanted to cut and donate her hair to a needy child, she personally researched the numerous charity organizations that accept such donations.

Cody picked Children With Hair Loss for her donation because the organization does not charge the recipient for the wig. And she picked an unknown patient at St. Jude Hospital as the recipient because the hospital treats sick children regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

A local hairdresser combs out Cody Smith’s hair before cutting it and packaging the hair for a donation to Children With Hair Loss, an organization Smith picked herself because it does not charge the recipient’s for their wigs.

“She specifically wanted to donate her hair for kids with cancer at St. Jude Hospital, and this organization (Children With Hair Loss) makes wigs for those children,” said Mandy. “The wigs are free for the children, and the children with cancer don’t have to pay for the wig, so that’s why she chose it. She’s done a lot of research about St. Jude, and she really likes the way St. Jude takes care of the kids — all the things that make it special.”

According to its website, “The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder, Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.”

“I’ve heard about it since I was little,” Cody said. “I just knew it was there. I wanted to help someone else, and I wanted to pay it forward. I wanted to do it this week so it would be like a Christmas gift.”

Cody Smith, left, and her mother, Mandy Smith, are pleased with Cody’s shoulder-length locks.

Mandy said, “Cody has been growing her hair for the past year with the intention of donating her hair. I think she’ll let it grow and then donate it again.”

Mandy was a little nervous and apprehensive as the stylist cut about 10 inches of her hair — leaving her with a shoulder length hairdo.

Mom and grandma both declared she looked great with shorter hair, and after she checked her reflection in the mirror, Cody thought so, too.

According to its website, Children With Hair Loss opened in September 2000.

“After researching, we didn’t find any other organizations that were giving human hair replacements to children at no cost,” the website reports. “CWHL’s mission and goals were to never charge a family at a time when they need the most help … Originally, CWHL’s focus was on children fighting cancer, until we found out that there were a lot of other reasons why children lost hair … To this day, Children With Hair Loss has never charged a child. Currently, we provide a customized human hair replacement and care kit to more than 300 children a year.”

The organization’s mission is to “empower these children to become whole again by making hair replacement available to those who may be financially challenged and might otherwise not have a means of obtaining the hair they want and need.

Our goal is to assist as many of these children as possible in changing their lives by improving their outlook and empowering them with a degree of self-confidence that will allow them to face the world with renewed self-esteem.”