3-Year-Old Emily And Her Dolly Cut Hair For Kids With Cancer

By Karen Bliss 3/5/14 | www.samaritanmag.com

Emily James, 3, and her Dolly, after their haircuts by Uncle Matthew.
If Dolly did it, she would too. Three-year-old Emily James thought nothing of cutting her long locks once she learned that some children get cancer and will lose their hair. Her 7” ponytail was sent to 360 Hair in Langley, BC, which accepts treated and untreated hair donations and makes free custom wigs for girls under 19 with cancer.

“Sometimes kids get sick. And then their hairs – then their hair falls out. That’s really really sad,” Emily explains in the 2-minute video (see below) made by her parents, Amy and Richard James, who co-own FlyPress Films in Barrie, Ontario.

She then introduces us to her uncle Matthew, Amy’s brother, a hair stylist and "best hair cutter in the world" at Brennan Demelo Studio. “He cuts my hair,” she says. “I don’t want any kids that have that be sad that they have no hair. What I want to do is give them my hair — because I have long hair. Just cut some of it off and give it to someone. “

The simple gesture by this adorable girl has quickly been getting attention on YouTube. The video has more than 264,000 views — and quickly climbing.

Her mother tells Samaritanmag that Emily was born with a ton of hair and had never had it chopped.  “It occurred to me she might have enough length to actually donate to cancer. So we sat her down and explained to her what is cancer and some kids, when they have cancer, lose their hair and they get to wear wigs and this is what a wig is. 

“And we said, ‘Do you want to do it because your hair’s going to have to be really short?’ She said she would do it and she was excited but she said,  ‘Could Uncle Matthew cut Dolly’s hair too?’  — which is her Rapunzel Doll. So that’s why he did [the doll’s] hair first.”

Amy suggested to her husband that they film it just so their could share it with their friends and family. They put it up on Facebook and Twitter, but when her brother posted it on Instagram, it started to reach outside their immediate circle.

“We are kind of in shock at how broad it’s going,” says Amy. “But everyone has a connection to cancer or knows someone and has felt some sort of loss from it, so I think when people see this cute little three year old talking about it, it’s striking a chord.”

Amy doesn’t have any friends or family members going through cancer “fortunately enough,” she says.

Emily had 7” cut off, which she can be seen at the end of the video placing in an envelope to send to 360 Hair, which accepts hair lengths as short as 6”. “Most places require minimum 8” to 10” — obviously the longer the better,” says Amy. “I was so excited about their program after speaking with them on the phone.”

She adds that 360 also asks hair donors to send contact information with the hair. “They pass the contact info to the wig recipient and encourage them to send a note back to the donor.  So cool.”



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* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.