Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow CAA Student Donates Hair

What's the story behind a beautiful, reserved sophomore at Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) being the brunt of name-calling? First, Diana Palomera gets called Troy Polamalu (the Samoan professional football player known for his long, beautiful hair who does Head and Shoulders commercials). A few days later, she gets called a boy and told not to go into the women's dressing room by a woman "guarding" the rooms at a department store.

It is surprising that friendly, caring Palomera would be the recipient of name-calling until one learns more about this student.

In addition to the aforementioned qualities that make Palomera an asset to her high school, she also has a heart for helping people. For a long time she thought she needed money to really help in a way that made a significant difference. But then, she heard about Locks of Love, an organization whose mission is "to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss ... [by providing] the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children," many of whom have cancer. A new idea, one that she could make happen, began to form.

After doing her homework, Palomera found a place that would cut her hair and allow her to donate it to Locks of Love for a child who had lost his or her hair. In just a few minutes she went from having long, beautiful black hair to a shaved head for a worthy cause.

When asked about the responses from people, she tells about the humorous dressing room situation and being told that "boys try on clothes over there." She says her family was surprised and very supportive, with her mom joking that now she looks like her dad and brother. Her friends all thought it was "weird" but are very proud of her. Her teachers are proud of her too — for her willingness to leave her comfort zone, to put others first, and not to let outward looks take precedence over her inner beauty.

June 01, 2012 / Oregon Conference