The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

May 23, 2013

12-year-old provides 2 ponytails for Locks of Love, then shaves head to protest cancer

By Tiffany Thompson

Saturday, May 25, 2013 — Kalyn Caudle is a unique child. At 12 years old, she has made the decision, not once but three times, to donate her hair to Locks of Love.

“So much now kids are wrapped up in how they look, but she has gone against the grain,” said Kimberly Caudle, Kalyn’s mother.

“She made the decision on her own to do something that most people wouldn’t think about doing.”

Kalyn’s most recent donation to Locks of Love took place during the Relay for Life of Stanly County event May 17 at North Stanly High School.

She chose to make the donation in memory of Brenda Talbert, who Kalyn considered to be her “adopted grandmother.”

“Brenda passed away in February of 2012 from brain cancer. She used to keep Kalyn when she was little and she always called her ‘maw maw,’ ” Kimberly said, adding that Kalyn also made the donation to honor friends and family who were battling breast cancer.

Kalyn, with her long red hair, was able to make a double donation, in which enough hair was cut for two wigs.

But she didn’t stop there. After her two ponytails were cut off for the donation, Kalyn proceeded to have her head shaved.

“She wanted to make a statement to bring awareness  to cancer. She didn’t have to shave her head, but she said there are so many people that do and she wanted to be their voice,” Kimberly said.

Kalyn, who is a student at North Stanly Middle School, made her first donation to Locks of Love when she was 7 years old after she met a young girl that had lost her hair to chemotherapy.

“She was upset that this little girl had lost her hair, but the little girl told her that it would be OK because she was getting a wig,” Kimberly said.

“She wanted to know more about how to make a donation for the wigs, so we showed her how it worked. She made the decision after that to donate her hair.”

And it is a decision that has stuck with her. She made a second donation to Locks of Love at age 9, and she says that she wants to do it again after her hair grows back from her most recent donation.

“She says that God’s blessed her with a beautiful head of hair that grows fast, and that he’s led her to do this. She doesn’t want to stop here,” Kimberly said.

And Kalyn’s story has been an inspirational one, especially to those that know her best.

“Her older sister said that she had always been Kalyn’s hero, but now Kalyn’s her hero,” Kimberly said.

To submit story ideas, contact Tiffany Thompson at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24.