While most young boys would fight tooth and nail against having long hair, 8-year-old Christian McPhilamy proudly grew his out for more than two years just so he could donate it to charity.
The Melbourne, Fla., youngster saw an ad for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital more than two years ago, and in it, children who had lost their hair because of chemotherapy, his mother — Deeanna Thomas — told Today.com.
During a nightly ritual where the pair looks up something online that interests her son, he asked to learn more about the hospital and they saw a promotion encouraging people to donate their hair, she told Mashable.
After Thomas explained that some people donate their hair to cancer patients who have lost their own as a result of chemotherapy, "... he said, 'I want to do (donate my hair). … I was blown away … usually when Christian sets his mind to something, he pretty much goes with it. He doesn't let anything falter his goals. I was pretty confident that he was actually going to follow through with it," the proud mom told Today.com.
And so it began, with Christian letting his blond hair grow. And apparently, once it reached his chin, the teasing and confusion began.
"Sometimes they would call me a girl," he told the site. The taunts came from other boys he played sports and a doctor mistook him for a girl. Once, a man even told him he needed to "do something" about his flowing locks. That same guy later apologized after being told why Christian was doing it.
A week ago, it was finally time for the big cut.
"My hands were shaking. My heart felt like it was going to explode," Thomas told Today.com, adding the "incredible" feat resulted in four 10-inch-long ponytails Christian will donate to Children With Hair Loss. He's also looking forward to having shorter hair again and joining the ranks of other young donors.
"Christian has such a huge heart," Thomas said. "I don't even know if there are words to describe how proud I am of him."