Teen grows out hair to benefit kids - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Teen grows out hair to benefit kids

June 20th, 2017 development
Teen grows out hair to benefit kids

By Leah Merrall

Harrison Healy of Chandler was just 8 years old when he decided to grow out his hair to cut and donate to charity. The first time he cut it, he was 10. Now, four years later, the 14-year-old just donated his hair for a second time.

“The biggest challenge is the bullying, but really I just blow it off,” Harrison said. “Obviously they don’t know why I’m doing this. The biggest reward is knowing that someone will get a wig.”

The first time around, Harrison experienced criticism from his classmates and even his third-grade teacher. Unfortunately, this time was no different. From the beginning of sixth grade to the end of eighth grade when Harrison donated his hair, taunts from classmates ranged from calling him a girl to telling him he was using the wrong bathroom.

However, the Healy family, which lives near Chandler Fashion Center, said the adversity was worth it for the end result: a donation of ten inches of hair to Wigs 4 Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides custom hair-replacement to kids who have lost their hair as a result of anything from chemotherapy to burns.

“If he donated his hair 10 times or 20 times in a lifetime, how many lives does that touch?” said Mark Healy, Harrison’s father. “This is the kind of person that he is.”

Initially, Harrison donated his hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization that makes wigs and donates them to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks. This time, Harrison said he wanted his hair to go to a kid.

Although the bullying during the growth process was similar to the first time, Harrison’s ability to deal with it is stronger now, his parents said.

“When he said, ‘You know, Mom, I think I’m going to grow it again to donate it,’ I was fully supportive,” said Tracy Healy, Harrison’s mother.

While Harrison is still unsure if he will grow his hair out to donate again any time soon, he and his family hope that as he gets older, his peers will be less judgmental.

“You’re going to deal with adversity and you’re going to deal with people who are ignorant,” Mark said. “You have to be strong to deal with that, and he’s done it twice. This has been a lesson for him to learn to deal with adversity and he’s done it well.

“The benefit is bigger than the bullying, period.”