Event inspired by young sisters’ effort to help others
GREENVILLE — In an effort to complete what two young, generous sisters set out to do, L’image Hair Salon is holding a “cut-a-thon” from 2 to 5 p.m. today, collecting donations of money and hair to go toward a nonprofit organization that makes and donates wigs to children who have lost their hair.
Inspired by a flier from the nonprofit organization Children With Hair Loss that L’image’s Tara Coville showed them while visiting the hair salon, Bree and Madison Town of Greenville set out to start a fundraiser. Then came an unfortunate, ironic event — Bree, 9, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
“Both were all about it,” said the girls’ mother, Jennifer Town, in reference to donating their hair. “We planned it in January and were going to hold a hair donation event in October. Then, Bree got diagnosed.”
Despite the devastating news, the girls, who have collected toys and other donations for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids several times, decided to still donate their hair.
Madison, in honor of her sister, decided to shave her head like her sister, who would eventually lose her hair from chemotherapy.
Two weeks later, Bree was visited by a representative from Children With Hair Loss and given a blonde wig, which Coville helped dress up.
“This all ties in together with the girls,” Coville said.
Town said Children With Hair Loss is the only organization in Michigan she knows of that provides wigs at no charge. Children With Hair Loss, based in South Rockwood, south of Detroit, provides free wigs to children until age 21.
“They are a great organization,” Town said.
L’image, which has already collected as much as 930 inches of hair (including 129 pony tails) and more than $200 for the cause, will provide fun things for kids to do while they wait their turn for their haircut, such as snacks, a fun photo booth and door prizes.
“It’s a great cause and Tara has been working hard for this cause,” L’image owner Barb VanHoose said.
L’image is also selling paper hearts through today, which will be on display. Funds will go to the same cause.
Coville said anyone can get their haircut during the fundraiser with a $10 minimum donation. Those who would like to donate hair must have hair at least eight inches long. During the fundraiser, haircuts will be on a first come, first serve basis.
Update on Bree Town
Bree, who has completed chemotherapy treatment, is now waiting for her bone marrow to work on its own after receiving bone marrow aspirate and biopsy.
Once her white blood count is up, she will then be allowed to return home. After a month, Bree will have to return to the hospital for surgery to remove a central port connected to her heart, getting monthly blood draws afterward.
Town said her daughters are looking forward to being home by Halloween but will return to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to trick or treat with the other young patients.
“That’s her goal,” Town said, of Bree.
Bree plans to dress up as Frankie Stein from the cartoon “Monster High.”
To donate or for more information, call L’image Hair Salon at (616) 754-1300.