Alberni girl donates hair for childhood cancer patients’ wigs

Josephine Granneman of Port Alberni was ready for a drastic haircut last week.

Josephine Granneman holds aloft her ponytail

Josephine Granneman holds aloft her ponytail

Josephine Granneman was ready for a haircut last week. After all, it had been nearly two years since she had had a drastic change.

But it wasn’t just any haircut the Port Alberni Grade 6 student was looking for. She walked into Em Salon on Valentine’s Day prepared to donate her entire ponytail so it could be made into a wig for young cancer patients.

Granneman, 12, was inspired by her friend Maegan Taylor, who has twice shaved her head in support of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Two years ago Granneman began growing out her short hair so she could donate it.

It’s been difficult, she admitted, especially when the weather was warm or when she went to gym class and forgot an elastic to put her hair up.

Besides donating her hair to a good cause, Granneman said there were practical reasons for having a shorter hairdo. “It takes less time in the morning,” she said. She is also an athlete with the Tsunami Swim Club, and said a shorter hairdo would fit better beneath her swim cap.

Stylist Jennifer Gillard combed Granneman’s hair into a ponytail and measured it to make sure it was long enough. The outlet Em Salon deals with, 360 Hair in Langley, requires donated hair to be at least six inches long.

Salon owner Michelle LaPointe said her establishment receives a couple of requests a month to donate hair to a cancer wig program. They stockpile it until they have a bundle to send to 360 Hair.