By Sarah Negrete
La Habra Journal
Children suffering from leukemia and hair loss are what inspired 7-year-old Olin Mateo Morales Hyder to donate his long, dark hair to Wigs for Kids, a foundation that provides free hair to children who have lost their locks due to medical treatment or injury.
Olin first became motivated to help when he watched family friend Camila Gonzales, now 5 years old, deal with leukemia treatment 18 months ago. He decided to cut off all of his hair that he had been growing for more than two years.
“I was growing my hair out because I wanted to be a rock star,” explained Olin. “I was very attached to my hair, but I felt bad that Camila was sick, so I decided I wanted to help her and give her all my hair.”
Although Olin’s hair wasn’t literally given to Gonzales, it was donated to another child suffering from cancer, similar to that of Gonzales. Thanks to a bone marrow transplant, Gonzales no longer has cancer and is growing back her own hair.
When the day came to cut Olin’s hair at Main Frame in Brea, many people—from family to Cub Scouts— came out to witness the boy’s act of sacrifice and generosity. It took more than an hour to cut off 12 inches of Olin’s mane, and friends and even his teacher at Ladera Palma Elementary School did not recognize him with this short new hairstyle.
Olin’s mother, Janette Hyder, felt proud that her son wanted to do something to benefit other children less fortunate than him.
“When he proposed this idea to me about donating his hair because of Camila, I thought it was so sweet,” said Janette. “I couldn’t believe that he was really serious about cutting his hair because he was so attached to it. But because Olin and Camila basically grew up together, he saw how she lost her hair progressively over time because of chemotherapy, and that was what really affected him the most.”
Olin plans to grow his hair out once again for Wigs for Kids—and for an even longer period than two years.
For more information, or to learn about how to donate and become involved in the fight for a cure, visit www.clf4kids.org.