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Beachburg's Brooke Mackay donates hair to Cancer Society

By Ryan Paulsen, The Daily Observer

Eight-year-old Brooke Mackay of Beachburg has spent half her life growing her hair for a cause, and at the end of June, she brought this quest to an end.
With little fanfare, in the Canadian Cancer Society offices on Pembroke Street East, Brooke had her hair lopped off, destined for the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, which makes real-hair wigs for women and girls whose own hair has fallen out due to cancer treatments.

The last time Brooke (who is a girl of few words even as she goes about her humanitarian work) got her hair cut was when she was four years old, and that time as well, she was getting it cut as a donation.

"Brooke has been touched by cancer in different ways," explains her mother, Crystal Alport.

Most recently, her Grade 3 teacher at Beachburg Public School had to leave her position to seek treatment for a fourth cancer diagnosis, which gave Brooke even more reason to donate to the cause.

In addition to her hair cut, Brooke spent a solid month going door-to-door in her community, asking for donations, and managed to bring together more than a thousand dollars in contributions.

"It's always incredible when we see young people get so committed and involved in raising money and making a difference," says Cancer Society fundraising specialist Jessica Khouri. "It's so inspirational."

Not only was the idea to donate her hair noteworthy, but Khouri says that door-to-door fundraising is some of the most challenging work around, and it's something that most grown ups shrink back from.

"It's super hard for us to get volunteers to go door-to-door to ask for money, and she raise over a thousand dollars. You have to be resilient, and you have to be willing to accept a no and move on, and that's what she did: she just kept going."

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