Fredon girl gives gift of her hair for the holidays

Tresses go for wigs for cancer patients

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  • Sadie Brand with her third grade teacher, Courtney Petermann. Brand followed in Petermann's footsteps and donated her hair for wigs to go to those with cancer.

  • Sadie holds the locks that will be donated

  • Sadie Brand before her donation

By Laurie Gordon

— When Sadie Brand's third grade teacher, Courtney Petermann, donated some of her hair to charity, Brand was very impressed. The charity to which Petermann had donated was Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and Brand couldn't get what her teacher had done out of her mind. She, herself, had long hair which she loved and couldn't imagine parting with. But then there was that wonderful thing Mrs. Petermann had done.

In the spirit of the holidays, the third grader at The Fredon School decided to follow suit and on Saturday, donated locks to the same charity with her mom and beloved teacher by her side. Brand knew that her donation would help someone who didn't have hair get a wig. But on Saturday, when she was at Ultima Hair Designers Salon & Spa in Andover getting the cut, it really hit home.

“While we were there, a stylist who works there told us about her daughter who is very sick and lost all of her hair and explained to Sadie just how important this was,” said Brand's mother, Niki Brand. “There wasn't a dry eye in the salon.”

Brand said that they decided on this particular charity because, in contrast to other similar ones, the recipient doesn't pay what other organizations charge.

“I was very surprised that Sadie wanted to donate her hair,” Petermann said. “The day after I donated mine, I came into school and my students asked me why I donated my it. I told them that another person needed my hair more than I did. After I said that, it was like a light bulb went off for Sadie. She then told me that she was going to donate it. I told her she would have to ask her mom first (not realizing that she was serious.) Her mom contacted me a couple of days later to see if I would go with her to get her hair cut. I was so proud of Sadie for doing this especilly around the Christmas season when so many children are asking for a present.”

Sadie decided she wanted to give a present instead.

“When I saw Mrs. Petermann with shorter hair, I thought she looked really pretty and then I heard why she cut her hair,” Sadie Brand said. “I got inspired and excited and started thinking maybe I should do it. I was inspired because she gave her hair to sick children, and I knew my hair was long so I wanted to do that too. I also love my teacher, Mrs. Petermann, and look up to her.“

Brand said at first she was a little nervous, but then joy consumed her.

“Now I know what it's like to have short hair and I can wear two cute pigtails for basketball,” Brand said. But mostly, she added, “And someone can have hair who didn't and that makes me happy.”

Pantene Beautiful Lengths is one of the largest national movements and the first campaign of its sort to create free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. Hair provided by generous volunteers such as Courtney Petermann and Sadie Brand will be used to create beautiful, high-quality wigs by Pantene's partner, HairWear, that will go directly to women and children affected by hair loss from cancer.

“Saturday was all about inspiration,” said Niki Brand. “My daughter came home last week and said 'Mrs Petermann got her hair cut for charity and it inspired me. I want to donate my hair.'” Mrs. Petermann met us at Ultima with balloons and flowers and a very nervous girl...and then her brave spirit stepped up.”

Sadie Brand donated two, eight-inch braids for a child who will need them.

“I am so touched by my daughters heart and I’m beyond blessed that [Petermann] is her teacher," Niki Brand. "This is the good news people should hear and share: a teacher who inspires her student because the student truly loves and looks up to her teacher.”

Petermann said, “As a teacher, you don't realize how much the students look up to you and really value your opinion. Your job as a teacher is a 24/7 job inside and out of the classroom. Setting a good example for the kids is very important. My parents raised me to always give back to others and that is something I still value today. I love that my students are starting to pick up on that as well.

“Every Christmas, my family and I always talk about what it means to give, so this means a lot to give my hair to someone who needs it," Sadie said. "I'm so glad Mrs. Petermann did this so I could do it too.”

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