Trevor Corbett’s decision to not cut his hair over the past two years was not a fashion choice.
Trevor, 12, of Blaine, just wanted to help kids who had no choice when losing their hair. Occasionally being mistakenly called a girl did not discourage him.
Trevor found the motivation to donate to Locks of Love from Emma Wallraff, the sister of one of his peewee hockey teammates in the Blaine Youth Hockey Association. After she donated her hair in the summer of 2011, he thought it would be a cool idea do the same.
That’s just the type of person Trevor is, his family said. As his parents, grandmother, great-grandmother and a close friend stood by his side as a Fantastic Sams hair stylist snipped off his ponytails March 27, they shared stories of acts of kindness.
“This right now is a proud parent moment,” his father Jason Corbett said. “He made the decision on his own.”
Bertha Shroyer, of Coon Rapids, said her great-grandson is always polite. He will escort her to her seat before church services. His mother Sheila Corbett remembers when Trevor and his friends befriended a special needs boy and comforted him when he was having a bad day. When she came to pick him up, this boy was upset to see Trevor go, but he said he would be back tomorrow.
“He really thinks about each other’s feelings,” Sheila said.
Standing by his side during the hair cut at Fantastic Sams in Blaine was Nate Olson, 13.
They attend different schools – Trevor is at Northdale Middle School and Nate at Roosevelt Middle School – but they became good friends when they started playing hockey together eight years ago. They both play defense.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Nate said of his friend donating his hair to Locks of Love.
His parents credited Trevor’s friends for making the last two years more enjoyable. If someone gave him a hard time about his look, his friends stood up for him.
Trevor said it was tough to have the long hair at first, “but I got used to it.”
He just adjusted the straps of his hockey or lacrosse helmets and waited for his hair to be at least 10 inches long, which is the Locks of Love requirement. Besides the occasional trim, Trevor let his hair grow to 14 inches since his last haircut in August 2011.
There were several moments when adults actually mistook him for a girl because of his long hair.
When he answered a question correctly in church, the pastor said, ‘Give that girl a piece of candy.’ It was a pastor he did not know well, so he was forgiving of the mistake and said he would have no problem answering a question again if he knew the answer.
Dad Jason said there were a few times when hockey referees would question why they did not have a girl listed on their Blaine youth hockey team. Trevor smiled as he recalled getting tied up with another player as he tried to defend his team’s goal. The opposing player ended up in the net, looked at the referee and exclaimed, “She pushed me in!”
“He’s been good at letting it roll off his shoulders,” his mother said.
It was actually tougher on Sheila to have people mistaking her son’s gender, but Jason would encourage his son to defend himself with words. They taught him some comeback lines. When someone said he should get a haircut, he would quip, ‘Which one?”
All this had started because Trevor thought it would be a nice gesture for a boy to donate to Locks of Love as well. He had not heard of any boys who took this step to help kids who have lost their hair.
Locks of Love does not track how many donations it receives every year and how many are from boys or girls, according to Locks of Love Communications Director Lilly Robbins.
The organization wishes to keep donor information as private as possible and the national office in West Palm Beach, Fla. has a staff of six that is focused on getting donations out to help people as quickly as possible, according to Robbins.
Robbins estimated that 80 percent of donors are children and more girls than boys donate, but they do get a good share of donations from boys.
Missy Mallmann said as she cut Trevor’s hair that she has worked with both boys and girls donating to Locks of Love.
According to Locks of Love’s website, most of the recipients they help have alopecia areata, which is a condition that causes hair loss in areas of the body but mostly from the scalp. Other recipients lost their hair from radiation therapy, chemotherapy or severe burns.
For more information about Locks of Love, visit www.locksoflove.org.
Eric Hagen is at [email protected]