April 28, 2013
Sunday was a whole day devoted to cutting hair with the second-annual Cut-A-Thon at Saint Anne's Belfield School, which brought 47 girls together to cut off their hair for those going through cancer and chemotherapy.
A local cancer survivor shared her story with the donors and their families before making the big cut.
"Hair is so much more than just, it's more than just a part of you and a wig lets you be yourself again and not let cancer define you," said 21-year-old Carter Cele Craig.
It was just last year that she was diagnosed with cancer and she found out right after the first Cut-A-Thon which was organized by her neighbor, Alexa Ignaczak, a junior at STAB.
Ignaczak remembers seeing Craig and her mother taking a walk around the block and telling her about the Cut-A-Thon and the cause.
As the weeks went on and Craig started chemotherapy at the Emily Couric Cancer Center, she kept thinking about how so many girls cut their hair to help others, and she decided to do the same.
"My sister ended up shaving my head for me and it was then that I realized how important it is for a girl, especially at such a young age, to have hair because it lets you be yourself instead of that girl with cancer," Craig said.
"It was just really meaningful to me to see her courage and I couldn't think of a better speak to say the last words and inspire the girls," Ignaczak said.
So as Craig said her final words, mothers took their positions behind their daughters with scissors in hand.
"Three, two, one, cut!"
"I could kind of hear the scissors cutting. I was excited but nervous at the same time," said Marian Laing, a middle school student at STAB.
"I'm really proud of her, she was the one who came to me saying she really wanted to do it. Her grandmother is a cancer survivor so I was trying to keep it together but she was able to be here today so that's great," said Marian's mother, Barkley.
Craig said she is lucky to have been cured and to be there on Sunday to at least try to tell the girls just how much this will mean to other girls or women.
"I know they understand what kind of a good thing they're doing but I don't think you really understand until you've gone through it and lost all your hair, all your eyebrows, eyelashes. And that's when it really starts to kick in that you're really you know letting someone kind of help you fight cancer."
Forty-seven girls in all gave the gift that will change so many lives.
Ignaczak said she hopes this becomes a tradition at STAB. She's planning on recruiting someone to take her place when she graduates next year.