Most 16-year-olds have enough worries from getting their driver’s license, to passing their next exam, to making plans with that special someone. But when Nova Southeastern University (NSU) freshman Lesly Viera was 16, she had a different kind of concern – she was diagnosed with cancer.
Doctors discovered a lymphoma located between her heart and lungs, so Lesly went through chemotherapy to beat the disease. Now, the 18-year-old biology major is stronger than ever and wants to give back to other teens and young adults affected by cancer. So despite carrying a full course load at NSU, Lesly started Locks for a Cause – a student organization that helps raise funds for cancer research.
On Sunday, April 17, 2011, the group will hosted its first event – “For Hair’s Sake” – to raise funds for cancer research and collect ponytails for Locks of Love, a non-profit that creates high-quality wigs for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or a medical condition.
Local hairstylists from A'dazl Salon, Davie Smart Cuts, Gina's Barber & Salon, Glamore Salon, Red Head Salon, Salon Euphoria and Shear Designs will offer complimentary haircuts to hair and monetary donors. Criteria for donating hair includes: hair must be at least 6 inches long; dyed hair is acceptable but bleached is not. Those unable to donate locks were also welcome to make a financial contribution.
While attending Mater Academy Charter High School in Hialeah Gardens, Lesly and her friends held a similar drive that collected more than 200 ponytails in one day.
“A hairpiece can give a child confidence and can make a terrible situation a little easier to cope with,” Lesly said. “Our hope is that we can bring the community together and get even more donations this time!”