Hair to show she cares


Facing a floor-length wall mirror, 6-year-old Jamie Bobb watched as stylist Lee Ann Friend place her blonde hair into two 10-inch ponytails and carefully snip them off.

Friend then placed the hair on top of a manila envelope addressed to Locks of Love and finished styling Bobb’s hair, which was now shoulder-length.

Bobb couldn’t stop looking at her new hairdo. It was cooler and lighter and would be easier to brush.

Bobb not only got her hair cut for the nonprofit organization that takes donated hair to make wigs for children who have lost their own hair while undergoing cancer treatment or for other medical reasons. She also did it in honor of her mother, Kim Bobb, a breast cancer survivor.

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“Mommy had cancer, and I decided my hair was long enough, and I was going to give to Locks of Love,” said Jamie, a first-grader at Immanuel Lutheran School in Seymour.

She said she had grown her hair out since she was 3.

“I was just thinking, ‘What am I going to look like?’ because I have always got my hair trimmed, but I never got a real haircut,” Jamie said.

During last year’s Relay for Life, Jamie and her mother began talking about Locks of Love. A few weeks ago, Jamie decided to get her hair cut.

“I said, ‘Whenever you think you’re ready, just let us know,'” Kim said. “A couple weeks ago, I came into her room to say her prayers with her, and she said, ‘I have made my decision. I want to donate my hair.’ It was a big deal for her.”

Jamie said it made her feel good to donate. It was a proud moment for Kim.

“It touched my heart,” Kim said. “She’s very kind-hearted. She’s a special kid, so I knew she was going to do it for the right reasons and to help people.”

Kim was relieved Jamie liked her new look.

“I just wanted to make sure she was comfortable, and I’m thrilled that she likes the result because I was worried that maybe it wouldn’t be what she expected,” Kim said. “But she’s really happy, as you can tell. She’s hanging out by the mirror.”

Kim said Jamie’s hair will now require less work and time in the mornings.

“The time in the shower will be cut down drastically,” Kim said. “There was a lot of conditioning that went into it just to keep it from tangling.”

Friend said she was excited to be a part of it all. She said she has cut five people’s hair for Locks of Love.

“It makes me speechless, and it’s very humbling. I feel very lucky and privileged to be able to do it,” said Friend, who also is Kim’s stylist.

“This one’s neat because I just think Kim has showed her kids to care for others that have cancer,” Friend said. “I think it shows love for others, and if other people would stop and think about the small things in life, doing something like that for others, our world would be a great place.”

Kim said it’s great to see people think of Locks of Love because she knows what it’s like to lose hair. That happened to her twice in 2004 following different rounds of chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.

Her cancer diagnosis came on Christmas Eve in 2003. She had been concerned about a lymph node and went to the doctor.

“I was only 31, so I had never had a mammogram, and there wasn’t a history of cancer in my family, so I really just went thinking, ‘Oh, it’s an infection or something like that,'” Kim said. “Then through testing, they found out it was Stage III breast cancer.”

She then knew she wanted to begin treatment as soon as possible.

“I have always thought the worst thing about cancer is the part when you find out that you have it until the time you get a plan because after you get a plan, you can do something about it, and you feel like you can be proactive with it,” she said. “But that time in between where you’re just waiting and you have no certainty, you feel very helpless.”

Kim went from chemotherapy to a mastectomy on her right breast to more chemotherapy and then radiation. She said she was relieved when treatment ended in November 2004.

Since then, she has gone through several reconstructive procedures. She used to go to the doctor for checkups every three or six months, but she now only goes once a year.

She’s just happy to be cancer-free.

“For cancer patients, I think it’s always in the back of your mind, ‘Is this really gone? Is it going to come back?'” she said. “But now, being more than 10 years out, I feel really good about it. We’re at a good place now, thankfully.”

Kim had another scare in 2012 when her oldest daughter, Emily, was struck by lightning while practicing with the Seymour High School softball team. Fortunately, Emily survived and was back on the field for the Owls’ first game.

Through that incident and her own battle with cancer, Kim said all of the support she received helped her pull through.

“You’re humbled by how many people care about you and reach out to you. Our community just embraces people in times of need, and that was really evident,” Kim said. “I think everybody has their cross to bear. I don’t think we’re different from anyone else. Everybody has their burdens, and how you react to them tells a lot about you.”

On Jan. 28, the mother of five was happy to witness one of her daughters do something for a good cause. Jamie turns 7 on Sunday.

“It’s all happy now. It really is,” Kim said with a smile. “I feel like (the family’s other battles are) behind us, and whatever comes next, our faith will see us through it as it has before.”

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Locks of Love is a national nonprofit organization that accepts donations of human hair and uses them to make wigs for children who have lost their own hair while undergoing cancer treatment or for other medical reasons.

To make a hair donation, it must be clean, dry and in a ponytail or braid.

Hair must be at least 10 inches long from tip to tip.

Although the organization prefers hair that is not chemically treated, it will accept permed or colored hair. Bleached or highlighted hair, however, is not usable.

The donor can place his or her hair in a plastic bag and then inside a padded envelope and mail it or a participating salon can do it.

Donations should be mailed to Locks of Love, 234 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701.

For more information, visit


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