An Alabama adolescent has cut his hair after growing it for six years in order to raise thousands of dollars for children with cancer.
After losing a classmate to brain cancer in the eighth grade, Kieran Mose, 18, began growing out his hair. His mother, Kelly Mose, 49, told CNN that he had seen individuals donate their hair to children who had lost it due to medical treatment and wanted to do the same.
“Kieran has always been known for his hair. It was a big part of his personality and who he was,” she said. “But he has always been the most compassionate and caring person. Since he was 6 years old, he somehow had the mindset of raising money and giving it to people who need it, and that never changed.”
Mose, who has a 19-inch Afro, graduated from high school in May. But, with his admission to the United States Air Force Academy looming, it was time for the big trim.
Mose coordinated a live event at a local brewery in Huntsville and an online fundraising campaign dubbed “Kieran’s Curls for Cancer,” with the goal of raising $1,000 for each inch cut, to maximize his impact.
Nearly 100 people attended the event on May 29, where they watched Mose have his hair braided and cut. His hair was donated to Children With Hair Loss, a Michigan-based non-profit that provides free wigs for children and young adults suffering from medically-related hair loss.
The event raised $20,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the end of the day and has continued to raise funds online. It was more over $39,000 as of Saturday.
“Charitable giving comes in many forms, from direct acts of kindness to impactful public statements that motivate others to come together to support a cause,” Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, told CNN.
“Kieran’s simple act of kindness exemplifies the power of younger generations and is something to celebrate, a selfless decision that will make a direct impact on the lives of the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and children everywhere for years to come.”
Mose is undergoing training at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and will be without phone or computer access for the next four weeks.
When his mother inquired about his readiness to part with his cherished curls, his answer was simple: “If I can do this, everyone can do this. There’s nothing special about helping others, you just have to want to do it.”