Richard Campbell is hoping to make a difference in the lives of young people.
The multi-sport star is donating over 10 inches of hair to the Locks of Love nonprofit charity in the US. Campbell, 28, states his goal is to benefit children affected by long-term medical hair loss.
“It is a charity who takes hair and turns them into wigs for children who need them,” Campbell said. “I’m not hoping to achieve anything. I just want to help out a charity organisation and I chose this one as it seemed like a cool way to help.
“My hair was between 11in and 12in long. The requirement is 10in. It took me two years and two months to grow it.”
Locks of Love is an organisation that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from hair loss due to conditions like alopecia, burn trauma and cancer treatment. The group normally receives donations of human hair from across the globe, with financial gifts also being accepted.
On its website, the group states its goal is to return self-esteem to affected children: “We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.”
Campbell, a George Town resident, has excelled in a variety of sports in the Cayman Islands, playing on the national teams for volleyball and darts. He has also plied his skills to flag football and softball.
Campbell was recently part of the Cayman team that competed in the 2014 North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation World Championship Men’s First Round Qualifier. That event took place at the new Clifton Hunter High School Sports Centre in Frank Sound.
North Side was not treated to a good showing by the host nation. Cayman struggled to an 0-4 finish and failed to advance for the second round of qualifying in 2013.
Campbell was the youngest member of the squad, which featured Shameel Javid Ali, Martin Bodden, Duncan Hamann, player/coach Keith Higgins, Cassim Fareed Hosein, Keeble Knight, Joebert Macasling, team manager Kennedy McGowan, Ryan McGuire, Brian Purcell, Davison Ruwende and captain Olney ‘OT’ Thompson.
Campbell is following the example of professional athletes in the US. Chicago Bears offensive lineman and 2011 first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi’s maternal uncle suffered from leukaemia as a child, underwent chemotherapy while Carimi was in second grade, lost his hair in the process and died when Carimi was nine-years-old.
Carimi thought he would do something, “that wouldn’t take a lot of my time but would help other people.” He grew his hair out for 20 months, until it was long enough in 2010 to donate to Locks of Love.
National Hockey League player George Parros has grown his hair long since the start of his professional hockey career, so he can donate it to Locks of Love.