“Jakob, are you ready?” asks his mother Julie Ross.
The 11-year-old looks at her with soft eyes, takes a deep breath and reluctantly takes his seat in the barber’s chair.
Growing his hair for cancer started as a way to emulate video game characters. However, as Jakob Hotson’s hair grew, so did his desire to make a difference.
On Monday, Hotson, accompanied by his family, showed up at Ragged Ass Barbers in the YK Shopping Centre and had his long golden locks chopped off after a year of growth.
He’s donating the hair to an organization that make wigs for cancer.
Although he wanted to look like the video game character Link from The Legend of Zelda video game, Hotson eventually settled on a more caring use for his hair.
“Halfway through, I decided that when I did want to cut my hair that I want to give it to cancer (patients),” said Hotson. “Once I cut it off I have no use for it, so why not?”
In September, Hotson will be heading into Grade 6 at Range Lake North School. Ross said her son’s act of philanthropy may have stemmed from an experience that made an impact on an educator.
“He’s chatted about a teacher at the school who had lost a child due to a brain tumour, prior to this process,” said Ross. “I think his dad also suggested it to him at some point.”
Although a noble deed, Ross added that Hotson endured some teasing at school because of the length of his hair.
“Mostly he’s always been his own person so he’s made some choices that aren’t always following the pack,” she said. “We’re really proud of him for being who he wants to be.”
Hotson plans on donating his hair to Wigs for Kids.
“It can be really annoying combing (my hair) and washing (my hair),” Hotson quipped. “But it’s all worth it.”
Ross has one piece of advice for parents in case their children want to contribute the way Hotson has.
“Get good brushes,” she laughs.