For more than a year, Garry has been looking forward to a haircut. The delay in getting one has nothing to do with Covid-closures at hair salons; Garry has been delaying on purpose. His goal has been to grow his hair to the point where he can cut it and donate it to an agency that makes wigs for children being treated for cancer. That point finally arrived at the end of July.
“It’s going to feel really good to not have hair in my mouth all the time,” he joked before the haircut appointment.
The idea to donate his hair began to take root more than a year ago when he read about a theft at Eva & Co, a wig shop in Vancouver. More than 100 wigs intended for children undergoing chemotherapy treatments were stolen, leaving children and their parents devastated. The story disturbed Garry and he wondered what he could do about it. One look in the mirror gave him his answer.
I decided to grow out my hair and donate it for wigs. – Garry, compassionate person
Garry also has relatives who have had cancer, so he knows that it is a difficult time for people.
Krista Petrie is a life skills counselor with Communitas Supportive Care Society and has known Garry for 3 years. She is not at all surprised that Garry would go through the trouble of growing out his hair in order to make a donation.
“Garry is well respected and loved by his peers. He has such a gentle disposition about him and often has other people’s feelings and needs at the forefront of his thoughts,” she says. “It is a pleasure to be able to work with Garry and get front row seats to this experience of sacrifice on his part!”
In order to make a donation to Wigs for Kids, one’s hair must be at least 10 inches long, Garry’s was closer to 15 inches from root to tip. At the end of July, Krista met Garry at Ed’s Hairstyling salon in Abbotsford for the long-awaited haircut to document the whole event in pictures. In order to maximize his donation, he chose to go as short as possible. The buzz cut feels pretty good, especially after such a long time with long hair.
“’I’m glad I did it,” he says with a smile. “I’ll finally be able to tan my neck!”
But true to his humble nature, Garry doesn’t consider his decision to be anything particularly extraordinary.
“It’s pretty easy to grow out your hair,” he says, adding that he’d encourage others to consider doing the same. “Just do it. It’ll make you feel good and it’s for a great cause.”