Jadon Lind ran into the kitchen on a mission.
He had just watched a television news report about a boy who had donated his hair to help young girls with cancer.
Jadon was saddened that the young cancer patients had no hair.
“My hair grows like a tree,” Jadon said. “So I thought of growing out my hair.”
That was two years ago — and 10 inches of long, flowing blonde hair later.
Jadon was four years old when he made the decision to help children suffering from cancer. Some might say it was an awfully big decision for a four-year-old.
But Jadon knew exactly what he was doing.
“Well, it’s your choice,” Jadon recalls his mother Jaime Lind saying.
“And I made that choice.”
After two years, the length of Jadon’s hair reached the 10-inch mark required for donation to the Locks of Love organization. On Jan. 20, stylist Micki Loeffler of The Cutting Edge Salon in Princeton cut his hair into a series of ponytails.
“It was a relief,” Jadon said.
That’s because what Jadon might not have been prepared for was the teasing that he would receive from classmates or the looks he would get from people when he was out in public.
But the story of Jadon Lind is a story about the strong will of a young boy who wanted to make a difference in the world.
“It was hard,” said Jadon, now six years old and in first grade at South Elementary School.
Jadon, already well into his mission when he started kindergarten, had shoulder-length
hair on his first day of school. His classmates had never seen him with regular, short hair since the time they first met him.
“People would tease and say I was a girl,” he said.
Some of his classmates actually believed he was a girl, his mother said.
“The first time I was called a girl I said, ‘I may look like a girl, but I’m growing out my hair for those girls with cancer,’” Jadon said.
He told his classmates about the boy on television and explained how his hair would someday be made into a wig.
Jadon’s first grade class was the place to be the Monday after his haircut.
When he walked into the classroom many students stared at him as if he were a new student entering their world for the first time. Others just stared. One classmate asked out loud who the unrecognizable boy was, while others moved close and stared into Jadon’s deep blue eyes, only to say they recognized him by his face.
“They used to call me long-haired Jadon,” the boy said of his classmates. “Now they call me short-haired Jadon. It’s a relief,” he said.
It was a relief for Jaime.
Even though people said they understood what Jadon was doing, she says she often felt people were being judgmental and questioning her ability as a parent.
“After the haircut I think people understood the significance of it,” Jaime said.
The significance of Jadon’s actions were never questioned by his mother.
“This has been one of the monumental moments of my life as a mom,” Jaime said.
“I realized the dedication, courage and strength of his commitment was something that was amazing,” she said.