by Lisa Tome
Mary Valle had a lot less to work with during "crazy hair" day at school last week.
Two days before the spirit day at Chesapeake City Elementary School, Valle, a nine-year-old fourth grader, got her hair cropped for Locks of Love.
"I wanted to give it to someone who has cancer because it would make them happy," said Valle.
Valle's mom, Jennifer, explained that her daughter had been growing her hair for a while, in hopes of someday donating it. It was while the family was getting a hair cut for Valle's younger brother, Brayden, that the decision was made to move forward with the cut for Mary.
"I asked mommy how long your hair has to be (for a donation). It's 10 inches," said Valle. The hair also can't be dyed.
Jennifer Valle then contacted family friend Patty Bishop who had been a stylist. Bishop agreed to cut the hair for the donation.
"She cut two inches above my ponytail. I was really nervous when I heard the scissors cutting. But it felt light and much better. I was happy," said Valle.
Although she is young, Valle's life has been touched by cancer. Two family members and the mother of one of her friends has battled the disease. Two of those people died from cancer.
"I did it to honor them. I knew them all really well and I miss them," she said. Her friend Joey Buckingham's mother, Sarah, died from cancer. Valle said Joey reacted well when she explained that she cut her hair for Locks of Love. "He gave me a high five right then," she said.
Valle said she is enjoying her new look. "I would do it again. I don't have to go to mom and say 'brush my hair and put it in a ponytail'," she said. "I will do it again. I will do it for the rest of my life if I have to. It makes people happy."
Locks of Love is an organization which collects hair. The hair is then made into wigs and given to someone who is undergoing cancer treatment and enduring the accompanying hair loss.