Boy, 9, who lost his great-grandma to cancer grows his hair long despite being bullied, to donate to cancer patients

Boy, 9, who lost his great-grandma to cancer grows his hair long despite being bullied, to donate to cancer patients

He donated 8 ponytails of hair, 14 inches each.

Good news is hard to come by in this climate. The slew of negative news has either kicked our sensitivity into overdrive or numbed us beyond belief. So, when one hears stories of selfless acts, it touches your soul in an extra special way.

This boy decided to grow his hair so that he could donate it to create wigs for cancer patients. Julian Cienfuegos, 9, from Spring, Texas, is determined to help strangers.

His inspiration comes from a painful experience that he went through as a child. Julian was 5 when his great-grandmother, Minerva Hernandez, died of cancer. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer which had eventually reached her lungs. While she was battling it, Henandez lost all her hair, according to KHOU11.


“So we think it kind of stemmed from that,” Julian’s mother Jennifer Cienfuegos said.

Jennifer, an oncology nurse, explained to her son why some people lose their hair when they get cancer. So, after he turned 6, Julian decided to start growing his hair and donate it to Wigs For Kids, a non-profit that makes wigs for kids with cancer and other medical conditions that make them lose their hair.

But he had to not cut his hair for a long time. “Because, if it wasn’t long enough, they couldn’t make a wig out of it,” he said. He had to grow his hair for 3 years.

Source: Screenshot/ KHOU11 News Video

But this came at a heavy price, because he was continuously bullied. “It made me feel really sad,” Julian said. “Everyone just assumed I was a girl.” His mom said, “So, he got picked on a lot, for it being long. He got called a girl. Or, when the boys would use the restroom they would tell him, 'Why are you in this restroom? You’re a girl.'”

Talking about the emotional toll it took on her, Jennifer said, “As a mother, to watch your child be picked on for something, for doing something so kind, it’s hard. But, he’s, like, the strongest kid I know. He’s always cared more about people in need ... or others. So, he just stuck with it.”

Finally, after growing his hair for 3 years, Julian's persistence paid off. He was able to donate 8 ponytails, each 14 inches long. When Julian went to the salon to get it cut, he was very happy. You'd think it was because he would get bullied anymore. But his reason for happiness has a maturity and selflessness that even adults find difficult to muster. “It makes me feel really happy,” Julian said. “Probably because a kid’s going to get it and they’re going to feel really happy and they’re not going to get picked on.”


In the video interview with KHOU11, when his mom asked him if he would do it again, Julian nodded his head. “We’re hoping that a parent or anyone in general who sees this, who has long hair and is thinking about cutting it, would just take a second to think what I could possibly do with this. And how I could change someone’s life,” Jennifer Cienfuegos said.

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