14 year old Stephanie Cunningham was getting her hair cut for returning to school but decided to start her new school year off by doing something selfless for a child she has never even met nor is likely to meet.
Stephanie, daughter of Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham, donated her long hair to the Rapunzel Foundation after reading about it online two weeks ago.
Her father Tom said “She only told me and her mother what she had decided to do the night before and that was only because she had a list of instructions in her hand and we asked her what they were.”
To donate your hair to the Rapunzel Foundations you have to give your local hairdresser and list of steps to follow.
- Hair has to be at least 14” when straightened
- You have to wash, condition your hair the night before and the salon should straighten it on arrival
- Salon should tie the hair with bobbins along the 14” and then cut above it ensuring hair has bobbins at either end to ensure it stays together
- Place in a plastic sandwich bag and send to Rapunzel Foundation
Stephanie’s father said “she had it all worked out. Her hair was almost down to her waist so we weren’t sure if she would go through with it as it would be a major change for her but she was determined and her mother and I could not be more proud of her. It is not every teenage girl that could to do something like this especially for someone anonymous but Stephanie did.”
Tom said “Stephanie is a selfless young woman and very determined when she feels something is the right thing to do. She wouldn’t stand by if someone needed something she had, even her hair. I shouldn’t have been surprised at her doing something like this but she can just leave me speechless sometimes. I’m so proud.”
The Rapunzel Foundation helps children suffering from alopecia, a condition that leaves them bald and unable to grow hair. To have wigs made from real hair gives them more confidence in their appearance than synthetic wigs and it is especially important for young people to have wigs that are as realistic as possible, in terms of self-confidence and self-esteem.
The Rapunzel Foundation is located in New Ross County Wexford.