This story first appeared in the Information Point newsletter Our World in 2011, when Christina Zukowsky told The Information Point about her daughter Carly, then aged nine, donating her hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths scheme, for the American Cancer Society.
My daughter Carly Zukowsky is a precocious, nine year old little girl who was born with many complications. Diagnosed with myotubular myopathy at 4 weeks old, Carly has been in and out of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) throughout her life. She has spent an accumulated 600 overnights in the PICU battling Influenza, RSV, Pneumonia and other respiratory complications associated with her diagnosis but still ‘runs’ around like any other 3rd grader with the help of her zippy, hot-pink power chair.
None of these difficulties have jaded Carly in the least! She has a passion for reaching out and touching others on a daily basis. In her 9 years of life, countless numbers of human beings have interacted with Carly and each individual walks away with a different, more positive outlook on their lives. Carly has a way of changing the ‘normal’ perspective–touching people’s hearts in a way they’ve never been touched before! She sees herself just like every other human being. Her struggles are all relative.
In February 2011, Carly decided to shed her long, silky locks for others in need. She has seen many of her friends from the 3rd grade classes in school get their hair cut to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. This program creates real-hair wigs that are distributed for free through select American Cancer Society wig banks across the country. Patients with cancer that have undergone treatments robbing them of their own hair can look in the mirror and feel some sense of normalcy because of children like Carly.
Carly went to the hair salon and had 8 inches of her beautiful hair cut off and sent it in to this wonderful program. Carly will never be a child that looks around and notices what she does not have–she simply sees all the glory before her and the endless possibilities of what she can accomplish with ALL that she DOES have. Her perspective is one that is truly inspirational and should be mirrored by more people in the world. Carly is reminded each day she looks in the mirror and watches her hair grow again that someone out there is able to feel just a little better in a tough time because of the hair she has grown and donated. She is going to grow her hair and donate again–her goal this time is 10 inches.