, Derry, New Hampshire


January 17, 2013

LHS effort is on the cutting edge

LHS students and staff donate hair for cancer patients


“My Nana got lung cancer and never smoked,” he said. “It could happen to anyone. Chemo makes you feel bad and girls shouldn’t have to be bald.”

Londonderry High chemistry teacher Chrystena Ewen was donating for the third time.

Alex Horton, and brothers Andrew and Matt Bompastore would be doing Ewen’s cutting honors. All have been touched by cancer in their families. Ewen said she wanted the boys to cut her hair this year.

“Part of the experience should be for them to be here,” she said in her donation statement.

Alex said Ewen has coached him in swimming for many years.

Being asked to cut her hair made him happy, he said.

“I am honored,” he said.

Once the “3, 2, 1” countdown was given, it only took a few moments for a lot of hair to be cut.

Local hair stylists helped donors style their shorter hair once the cutting was finished. Area salons also brought in donations of hair to add to Londonderry’s efforts.

Through the years, the rally has gained national attention, including being featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America in 2007.

Since then, more than 2,000 donations have come from Londonderry to help those battling cancer.

The giving continues in Londonderry all year long.

“I had 52 ponytails in my desk drawer,” Juster said. “Barely a week goes by when a ponytail is not brought to me or placed in my mailbox.

People will cut their hair and bring in ponytails at different times during the year to keep the efforts going.

“Someone comes in with a ponytail and a story,” Juster said. “That’s the impact.”

He said Londonderry High graduates return every year to take part in the Beautiful Lengths event. This year, donors also included town officials and family members.

“Everyone here inspires each other,” he said.

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