An Alabama teen raised $39,000 for kids with cancer by cutting off his beloved 19-inch Afro

Kieran Moïse, 18, started growing his hair in eighth grade after losing a friend to brain cancer. He had seen people donate their hair to children who had lost their hair during medical treatment and wanted to do the same, his mother Kelly Moïse, 49, told CNN.

“Kieran has always been known for his hair. It was a big part of his personality and who he was,” she said. “But he’s always been the most compassionate and caring person. Ever since he was 6 years old, he somehow had the mindset to raise money and give it to people who need it, and that’s never been changed.”

In May, Moïse graduated from high school with an impressive 19-inch Afro. But with him ready to enter the US Air Force Academy, it was finally time for the big trim.

To maximize his impact, Moïse hosted a live event at a local brewery in Huntsville and an online fundraising campaign called “Kieran’s Curls for Cancer,” where he aimed to raise $1,000 an inch. On May 29, nearly 100 people attended the event, where they watched Moïse have his hair braided and cut. His locks were donated to Children With Hair Loss, a Michigan nonprofit that makes free wigs for children and young adults dealing with medically-related hair loss. By the end of the day, the event raised $20,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and has continued to raise money online. Saturday it was over $39,000.

“Charity 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 fundraiser 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 have a direct impact on the lives of the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and children everywhere in the world.” coming years.”

Moïse trains at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has no access to phones or computers for four weeks.

When his mother asked him how he was ready to part with his beloved curls, Kelly Moïse said his answer was simple: “If I can do this, anyone can do this. There’s nothing special about helping others, you have to do it.” just want to do it.”

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