18 May 2018

Bridget and Aliyah: The young Rapunzels letting down their hair for Variety

| Emma Davidson
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Bridget and Aliyah facing the camera and smiling: one girl has long blonde hair, the other has long brown hair

Bridget and Aliyah are chopping off their long locks for Variety’s Hair With Heart. Photos: Supplied by Bridget and Aliyah.

When Bridget, an eight-year-old Cub Scout, decided to grow her hair long and donate it to a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer and alopecia, she thought it would take a couple of months and be a great Gold Boomerang Badge project. Her friend Aliyah thought it was such a great idea that she decided to join Bridget’s quest.

“It will be very weird to have shorter hair but it will be great to donate it to children who are sick or don’t have any hair,” said Aliyah.

Girl with long blonde hair smiling at the cameraThat was in 2015… Bridget has since graduated to Scouts, and her hair is finally long enough. Eleven-year-old friends Bridget and Aliyah will donate their hair at a special haircutting ceremony on Friday 1 June 2018.

Bridget says that her hair is now most of the way down her back. When asked what she thinks it might be like to have shorter hair after growing it for so long, Bridget said she is “looking forward to it drying quicker after washing it”.

To donate through Variety’s Hair with Heart, hair must be at least 35cm long. The charity receives donations of hair and sends it to specialist wig makers who make wigs for people who have lost their hair due to a medical condition. The money paid to Variety by the wig makers for the hair is then used in other Variety programs that help Australian children with medical conditions or special needs. This includes donating wigs to children who need them.

With a good quality wig costing up to $6,000 and needing to be replaced after 1-2 years, donated wigs can make a big difference to a child with a medical condition causing hair loss.

Not content with just donating their hair, Bridget and Aliyah wanted to raise funds to help cover the costs of making the wigs, too. To date, they have raised over $2,000 and it would be great to see them raise more before their 1 June haircut – please donate if you can.

The girls will have their hair cut at a special school assembly. Bridget had been thinking they would let someone cut off their ponytails, but in fact, they will have the professional skills of CIT hairdressing teacher, Suzie Walden, doing the honours.Girl in Scout uniform with long brown hair smiling at the camera

“We’ll do scissors, paper, rock to see who goes first!” Bridget said.

The whole school has joined in the fun, organising a Crazy Hair Day to help with the fundraising effort. Bridget and Aliyah hope that this will inspire other students that if they believe in something and persevere, they can achieve amazing things – even if it takes longer than first expected!

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