Friday, November 10, 2000

Girl's long tresses to be made into wig

7-year-old gives her hair to comfort ailing child

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        “In 1977 my cousin died of leukemia. She was 2 years old. Her name was Kennise L. Mills. When she died she had no hair. I want you to make a wig of my hair and give it to a little girl like Kennise.”

[photo] Julia Furnish of Covington is shown her shorn locks by Ludlow hair stylist Adidian. Above are the before and after haircut pictures of Julia.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
That's what Julia Furnish wrote in Mrs. Zimmerman's second-grade class hours before a Ludlow hair stylist snipped off 12 inches of the 7-year-old's curly blond hair.

        The Covington girl is donating her hair to a nonprofit organization based in Rocky River, Ohio, near Cleveland.

        Called Wigs for Kids, the group provides hair replacement solutions for children affected by hair loss due to chemotherapy, alopecia, burns and other medical conditions. The wigs, which would sell for about $1,500, are free to the children.

        “She is going to be a grown-up,” said Julia's mom, Rita Wofford, 33, of Covington as her daughter sat in a barber's chair. “All her little kid's hair is gone.”

        Before the hair is sent by mail to Wigs for Kids, Julia might take it to school for show and tell.

        “Julia's classmates all said good-bye to her hair today,” said Julia's grandmother Vada Thornberry, 53, of Ludlow. She is an assistant teacher at the school.

        About 10 people, from family members to Julia's school mates, went with her to Suburban Hair Salon in Ludlow on Thursday afternoon. The event was videotaped, and the family said it was a way to remember Kennise.

        “Mom, it's not me,” Julia said while checking out her new hairdo. “Now that I look like this, can I start wearing makeup?”

        For the next month, the salon will cut the hair of anyone 12 or younger for free if he or she agrees to donate the hair to Wigs for Kids. The clipped hair has to be at least 10 inches long.

        “It's just the right thing to do, and this is a family kind of neighborhood,” said the salon's owner, who goes by the name Adidian. “We got the idea after (Mrs. Wofford) called and told us of her plan.”
        For information on Wigs for Kids, call (440) 333-4433 or log onto its Web site,


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