Northwest NEWS

February 14, 2000

Front Page

Donated locks help those in need

haircut

Duvall Hair Tech manager Cathy Condo prepares to cut 6-year-old Hailee Johnson's long tresses. Condo cut both Hailee's and her mother's hair at no charge. The locks were shipped to an organization that provides hairpieces for youngsters who have lost their hair.
Photo by Margo Johnson.

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   DUVALL--Margo Johnson saw them on the Oprah Winfrey show and they touched her heart.

   Young people who had lost their hair as a result of chemotherapy or disease were showing off their new locks--made-to-fit hairpieces donated by Locks of Love, a non-profit organization based in Florida.

   Margo had to learn more. So the Duvall resident called the number on the screen and discovered she could donate her own hair, which she did--14 inches of it about a year and a half ago. Then, early this month, her 6-year-old daughter Hailee followed her lead, contributing 10 inches of hair that she had grown out specifically for the cause.

   Cathy Condo, manager of Hair Tech in Duvall, donated her time for both haircuts. Condo said she had a daughter who had spent some time in Children's Hospital in Seattle for a treatable illness, but that during that time, she met a lot of kids "who weren't coming out of the hospital. We were fortunate, and cutting their hair was the least I could do for such a good cause."

   Locks of Love has been making hairpieces for children for a couple of years, said President Madonna Coffman. Since the word has gotten out through sources such as Oprah, Locks of Love has received enough hair to fill its needs.

   "We are getting about 800 ponytails a week now," said Coffman. "There are no children on a waiting list."

   Locks of Love provides wigs to those 18 and under and "there is no charge to children in need," Coffman said. "Fees are based on a sliding scale using the federal poverty level."

   Many youngsters fitted for wigs suffer from alopecia areata, a disease that causes significant hair loss. There is no known cure, and patients, often young girls, suffer from low self-esteem as a result. The tailored wigs make all the difference in their lives.

   Hailee, who attends kindergarten at Cherry Valley Elementary, was more than willing to give up her long, dark tresses so other children could benefit.

   "I wanted other kids to feel happy with my hair," she said. "After I had it cut, the boys in school were making fun of me until my teacher told them where the hair went. They were so surprised."

   Information about Locks of Love can be found on the Internet at www.locksoflove.org, or call 888-896-1588 or 561-963-1677. The address is Locks of Love; 1640 S. Congress Ave., Ste. 104; Palm Springs, FL 33461.