Multiple Sclerosis Patient Has a Lock on Giving Spirit

Multiple Sclerosis Patient Has a Lock on Giving Spirit

By Jane Anderson-Paul

Usually, hair donations to Locks of Love come from girls, boys or women. But one of the organization’s most recent contributions came from a unique source—a 56-year-old man with multiple sclerosis.

In June 2005, Don F., father of two girls and a patient residing at Chatsworth Park Health Care Center started growing his hair to donate to Locks of Love, which creates wigs using human hair for children who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy.

Don’s brother, Michael, had died of cancer two years earlier, and Don had seen him lose his hair. Later, Don saw a TV program about children undergoing chemo and was particularly moved when girls faced the difficulty of losing their hair.

After some research and with help from the nursing home staff, Don found Locks of Love and began growing his donation. Most men in their 50s would be happy to have enough hair to grow even an inch. Don said he was lucky to have inherited his thick hair from his mother’s side of the family. He chose Valentine’s Day 2008 as his target date because it is a day to give love. Don, who is in a wheelchair and needs assistance with everyday activities, admits it didn’t come a day too soon. “It was getting in my eyes,” he said, though he usually kept it pulled back in a ponytail. On the big day, Don’s 12-inch blond ponytail was carefully cut by Ellen Johnson, a local hairdresser, who donated her time to make Don’s dream a reality.

The facility buzzed in support of Don. Staff and residents were dressed in red flowers and candies were delivered and photos were snapped. The event was inspiring because we all learned that no matter how little you think you have to give, there is always enough love to share.