Sometimes it takes a child to show the rest of us how a simple act of kindness can change the world.
Eleven-year-old Josh Scott-Hill, from Llanelli, Wales decided to grow his hair for a year and a half after watching his mom’s friend lose hers during chemotherapy — and though he has been teased for looking like a “girl,” his selfless act has not gone unnoticed.
“My friend has had cancer and she lost her hair — and you know kids — she was wearing a cap, but they were asking, ‘Where have your eyebrows gone?’” said Ms. Scott, Josh’s mom, to BBC News. “When we walked away, Josh said, ‘Mammy, I want to grow my hair for people less fortunate,’ and I thought, ‘Oh right, okay then.’ But he has stuck with it.”
Unfortunately for Josh, some kids aren’t mature enough to comprehend a person going to those lengths to help others in need. Josh says he has been teased a lot for his long locks over the past 18 months.
“He does get teased, and the time when he was playing football, he got really upset,” Josh’s mom continued. “After the game Josh came to me and said that they were making fun of him but I told him to remember what he is doing it for. He just brushes it off now and if anything it just made him more determined than ever.”
Kids will always find someone to pick on — an easy target to tease. But Josh is showing those around him that some things are more important than outward appearances. Giving of yourself, especially at an age where blending feels important, is more important than avoiding a snide remark or peer pressure. And his effort is going a long way to help those battling cancer — especially children who want to feel a little more like themselves again.
When his hair is cut this month, Josh will donate it all to The Little Princess Trust, an organization that provides real hair wigs free of charge to boys and girls across the UK and Ireland. They also provide funding for childhood cancers research solely from donations from others. In addition to donating his hair, Josh has raised more than £1,000 for Maggie’s in Swansea, another charity which provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends.
Ms. Scott said she is very proud of her son — not only for donating his time and hair to help others, but for being strong enough to brush off negative comments along the way.
“I hope it will encourage others to be themselves and not be afraid to be different,” Josh tells Babble.
So how does a boy of only 11 years gather the self-awareness to handle the situation?
“My family has encouraged me to be myself and brave and not to worry about what other people say,” he answers.
And when it comes to those who have made fun of him, Josh had a message: “You can make fun of me, but I know that I am doing a kind thing to help others.”
Well said, indeed.