| Feb 12, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - February 12, 2009 Beauty from the inside outBy Chava Field-Green

5 year old Sasha Berndt will donate her hair to "Angel Hair for Kids"

This Valentine’s Day, 5-year-old Sasha Berndt is giving much more than a box of chocolates or a heart-shaped pendant.

The Denbigh resident is donating 10 inches of her beautiful curls to A Child’s Voice Foundation’s “Angel Hair for Kids”, to help create a wig for a child who has lost their hair due to cancer treatments, among other things. The foundation’s mandate is to provide for financially disadvantaged children what their families are unable to afford.

Last June, Sasha lost her great grandfather Perry Warlich to cancer.

“She was very close to Grandfather, as she called him”, said her mother Sheri Berndt. “She talks about him every day, and a couple of months ago I explained to her that little kids also get cancer and among other things sometimes lose their hair with the treatment”.

With her long curly hair, Sasha has heard many times that she is a beautiful little girl. She has come to associate her beauty with her hair and decided that she wanted to share that beauty. “I think I’m doing a good thing for other sick people”, she said shyly on the phone last week.

And she certainly is. Virgin hair, hair that has never been dyed or chemically processed, is the only hair that can be used to make wigs for children. Ten to twelve ponytails of 10 inch or longer hair is needed to make one wig. $800 provides a hair system for one child as well.

When I asked Sasha if this was her first haircut she replied “I don’t remember, I’m only 5”. As it turns out this will be her first haircut ever, and she’s spent the last few months looking through hair magazines, getting ready. Sheri’s lifelong friend, Amanda Pelicos of Rural Roots Hair Salon in Lanark, will provide her services at 2 o’clock this Saturday. Surrounded by family, friends, and a video camera, Sasha will document her first makeover and then send her hair off to make some other child’s makeover possible.

Jars have been placed around Denbigh collecting money in support of Sasha and the Canadian Cancer Society, Kingston. The money will be used locally to help provide services such as transportation for cancer patients in this area, support services and cancer research. These jars are placed at Sasha’s dad Ken Berndt’s Garage, the LCBO, Glaeser’s General Store and the 41 Stop in Denbigh. Sheri thinks that about $300 has been raised, but the jars will be tallied up this weekend.

Joan Gowsell of the Canadian Cancer Society, Frontenac – Lennox & Addington Unit, is really impressed with Sasha’s donation. “Kids want to do something to help, our donors are getting younger and younger; it’s becoming the norm. We think kids should be more worried about playing but cancer really affects everyone. It’s really positive that children are getting so into it, these are our future volunteers. I guess we’re raising our children to be better citizens.”

For more information about how to donate either money or hair contact the Canadian Cancer Society in Kingston at 613-384-2361.

To donate to Sasha’s fund cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Cancer Society and sent to Sasha Berndt, 22024 Hwy 41, Denbigh, ON, K0H 1L0.

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