It’s a donation that’s been a year and a half in the making.
Crofton Elementary School Grade 4 student Danaya Brown, 9, started the planning process toward providing a special gift way back in the spring of 2016.
“Last time she got her hair cut, the lady made the first cut and said ‘too bad we didn’t wait, you only needed two more inches to donate your hair,’” recalled Danaya’s mom Krista Brown.
That’s all it took to plant the idea in Danaya’s head.
“She decided she was going to grow it out,” said Krista.
From that day until her hair was finally cut again on Jan. 6 just before school went back in after the Christmas holidays, Danaya let it grow in order to provide wigs for kids with cancer. She also raised $900 in the process.
Her family is obviously very proud of her for such a caring act, but so is the entire community, especially at the school.
“She’s a pretty amazing kid,” related Crofton Elementary principal Jen Calverley.
Timing always helps broaden the impact of such gestures.
“She chose Christmas holidays to get it cut,” noted Krista.
“She wanted to go back to school and surprise everybody,” added dad Aaron.
Many didn’t know anything about what she was doing, but saw a very different-looking Danaya when classes resumed Jan. 8.
“She’d talked about it over some time,” Krista indicated. “I don’t think they really understood what it really entailed.”
Aaron said Danaya’s look was even “a little bit of a shock to us afterwards.”
“Since she started kindergarten, she’s had long hair,” said Krista.
A package with the long strands of Danaya’s hair was mailed Monday to Wigs For Kids BC in Vancouver, administered by the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.
“We wanted the hair to go somewhere where they didn’t charge,” noted Krista. “It’s just another expense you shouldn’t have to pay for.”
Danaya was also very pleased to raise the $900.
“My mom put it on Facebook,” she said of how the fundraising got started.
“And we talked to friends and family,” added Krista.
The largest single donation was $50 from Adaptive Appliance Service, with a $25 pre-paid Visa card for Danaya.
Little sister Ryder Brown, 6, a Grade 1 student at Crofton Elementary, gave her support.
“She went into her purse and pulled out $5.25 from her purse and donated it,” noted Krista.
All the money goes toward making her hair into a wig for somebody. Wigs For Kids BC, in turn, provides the wigs to kids for free.
The hair was cut at Aaron’s stepsister Kadie Davison’s Studio K in Parksville. About 14 inches of hair was cut and made into 15 ponytails.
Danaya said she definitely noticed the difference by how cold her neck felt.
“I was begging to get into the truck,” she laughed.
Danaya is glad she contributed to such a worthy cause. “Makes me feel really generous,” she said.
Kids like Danaya are amazingly perceptive these days about the effects of diseases like cancer.
“It came from a single comment and it stuck in her head and that was it,” noted Aaron. “It’s a bonus because every family has been affected by it at some point.”
“I can see her doing it again, for sure,” predicted Krista.