It has become a beauty rite for women to grow out their hair and donate their locks for cancer. But for grade school student Christian McPhilamy, his act of charity required him to be strong and resilient after facing two years of being bullied among his peers.
At the age of 6, Christian’s inspiration came after watching a commercial for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It wasn’t until two years later at the age of 8 when Christian cut ten inches off his long blonde mane.
While attending school as a second grader, Christian received bullying and taunts from both adults and his peers about his long hair. Even when away from school and playing at the park, Christian’s mom Deanna Thompson was quoted in an article on the Today Show saying she would get remarks about her son being a “pretty girl” or that he “looked like a girl.” When Christian heard such remarks, Deanna states that he would reply calmly, “I’m a boy.”
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"I just told him, buddy, if you've got goals and you want to reach them, you have to follow them.” Deanna told the Today Show. “You can't let what anybody says to you bring you down, and he never did.”
This determination gave Christian the confidence to finish his goal and donate to the Michigan-based charity Children With Hair Loss, which makes and donates wigs to children suffering from ailments that cause hair loss.
“Christian has such a huge heart,” his mom said. “I don’t even know if there are words to describe how proud I am of him.”