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ACCS students prove there is locks to love

Brittney lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Hairdressers Kayce Hinson, left, and Heather Skinner hand eighth graders Destiny Miller, left, and Hannah Maples the eight inches of hair Miller and Maples are donating. Sixteen girls from all grades at Adams County Christian Schools donated their hair in honor of friends, classmates and family members who had or are diagnosed with cancer.
Brittney lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Hairdressers Kayce Hinson, left, and Heather Skinner hand eighth graders Destiny Miller, left, and Hannah Maples the eight inches of hair Miller and Maples are donating. Sixteen girls from all grades at Adams County Christian Schools donated their hair in honor of friends, classmates and family members who had or are diagnosed with cancer.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to include the names of additional donors.

NATCHEZ — Hopes were raised Tuesday morning as the hair fell.

The Adams County Christian School student body gathered with community members at Bob Ulmer Gymnasium to cheer on current and former students as they donated more than 14 feet of hair for the benefit of children suffering hair loss because of disease.

Teacher Leigh Anne Mason said the hair would be donated to Children With Hair Loss, a nonprofit providing free wigs to children who suffer hair loss due to medical issues.

Mason, who sponsors the school’s Key Club, said the program was planned for approximately a year.

The community effort was especially personal to Key Club President Maggie Ray, a senior whose father died of skin cancer two years ago.

“His heart is just smiling down on us right now,” Maggie said of her father Mike Ray, a former ACCS school board president. “Everybody helped him, and to see us help Brody (BeQuette), it is making his heart smile.”

Many of the students who donated Tuesday did so in honor of Brody, an ACCS pre-school student diagnosed in December with neuroblastoma, a malignant cancerous tumor that develops from nerve tissue.

“This shows how close we are,” Maggie said. “When one of us hurts, we all come together and help whoever is in pain in any way we can. There are 15, 16 people here cutting their hair for little Brody, and that just says a lot about who we are and what we will do to help our students out.”

Brody’s mother, Crystal Davis, delivered a heartfelt thank you to those in attendance, saying her son’s diagnosis was one of the most devastating days of her life. However, she said the outpouring of support since then for Brody and their family shows they are loved now more than ever.

“I want to thank you, and let you know I love each and every one of you,” Davis said.

Maggie said the Key Club started planning “Hair Donation Day” in April to raise awareness of the hardships that cancer patients endure, especially children losing their hair.

“Our goal was to get one representative from every grade to donate a minimum of eight inches to give to organizations who make wigs for children and adults who need them,” she said. “I am so thankful for the generosity that these girls are showing today as we unite together to help fight this horrible disease. With the wigs made from our hair, we hope to give cancer patients hope and comfort during their fight.”

One of the donors was Dee Ray, Maggie’s mother.

“This speaks volumes about how much love there is in the community and how it is really a second family,” Dee said.

Donors included Kaylie Jester, Leigh Anne Mason, Miss Lynnda Forman, Hannah Maples, Daniella Perales, Destiny Miller, Samantha Whitaker, Hannah Russell, Natalie Russell, Ashton Mason, Kaitlin Melton, Faith Clark, Juliana Galbreath, Emma Trim, Allison Freeman, Tiffany Buckles, Hannah Cox, Allison Freeman and Dee Ray.

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