Alabama teenager cuts his 19-inch Afro, raises $39,000 for childhood cancer patients

·2 min read

An Alabama teenager decided to cut his beloved 19-inch Afro that he had been growing out for six years in support of something greater — raising money for children with cancer.

Shortly after losing a friend to brain cancer in eighth grade, Kieran Moïse, 18, began growing out his hair.

According to Moïse’s mother, Kelly Moïse, Kieran was inspired after seeing many other people donate their hair to children who lost their own while undergoing treatment.

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

After graduating from high school in May with his sights set on the U.S. Air Force Academy, Moïse had to make the decision to cut his Afro. To fulfill his goals, he worked with a brewery near his home in Huntsville to sponsor the event while he started his own fundraising campaign called “Kieran’s Curls for Cancer.” Moïse was hopeful that he would raise $1,000 per inch cut.

On May 29, Moïse cut his hair in front of a crowd of nearly 100 people. His hair was donated to the nonprofit medical wig maker for kids, Children With Hair Loss. At the end of the day, Moïse raised $20,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His online donations were still pouring in and as of July 10, he raised more than $39,000.

“Charitable giving comes in many forms, from direct acts of kindness to impactful public statements that motivate others to come together to support a cause,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, head of fundraising and awareness at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to CNN.

“Kieran’s simple act of kindness exemplifies the power of younger generations and is something to celebrate, a selfless decision that will make a direct impact on the lives of the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and children everywhere for years to come.”

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