Lindsay teen becomes donor for a day

By Jeannie Lopez

After visiting cancer patients at Valley Children's Hospital in Merced, Liz Ramos,of Lindsay decided to spend a day in Porterville making donations to two national organizations.

Her first stop was to Hot Heads Beauty Salon in Porterville. At Hot Heads Ramos would be getting her lovely brown hair cut 17 inches to give to the non-profit organization Locks of Love.

Locks of Love is an agency that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under the age of 18 with medical hair loss. Most of the applicants have some form of cancer and suffer from an auto-immune condition called alopecia areata, for which there is no known cause or cure. Donor hair is greatly needed for these patients who may never be able to grow their hair back.

Ramos has had long hair her whole life and hasn't had a real haircut since 1998. She was briefly saddened to known her hair was about to be cut 17 inches. Ramos says her mother didn't like the fact that she was going to get her hair cut, but after explaining to her that it's going to a good cause, her mother understood.

Hair stylist, Courtney Casares of Porterville, had the honor to cut Ramos hair. She helped comfort Ramos while her hair was being cut. After her hair was cut Ramos seemed surprised yet happy that she was able to give her hair to someone who greatly needed it.

"It's better for somebody else to have my hair because what am I going to do with it? Hair always grows back," Ramos said.

Later Ramos' hair was braided, placed in a plastic bag and mailed in a envelope to Locks of Love.

After Ramos' hair cut, she and her friend, Yesina Avilos, ended up at the Porterville Chamber of Commerce where a blood drive was in progress. Ramos and Avilos walked right in and decided to donate blood to the American Red Cross for the first time.

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood but only 5% of eligible U.S. population donates blood in any year. Blood is constantly needed for emergencies and for people who have cancer, blood disorders, sickle cell, anemia and other illnesses. Some people need regular blood transfusions to live.

Giving blood was a thoughtful experience for Ramos and especially Avilos, who fainted shortly after donating blood. Avilos explained that she was ok, but a little light headed after giving a pint of blood.

A day of being a donor inspired Ramos to donate even more. She now hopes to donate blood to the National Bone Marrow Program, in which a marrow or blood cell transplant is a potentially life-saving treatment for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases. A transplant replaces a patient’s unhealthy blood cells with healthy blood-forming cells from a volunteer donor.

Ramos feels good about helping others and that is why she is advocating to all her friends, family and classmates what they can do to become donors. She has become a role model by showing her support and care that she has for people who are in need.

For more information on how to donate hair to Locks of Love go to www.locksoflove.org.

For more information on how to donate blood call the Tulare-Kings County Red Cross at 732-6436 or go to www.ourredcross.org.

For more information on how to donate blood to to National Marrow Donor Program go to www.marrow.org.

Ramos would like to thank to her friend and supporter Yesina Avilos for being there while getting her hair cut and also, for donating blood with her even though she fainted.

Start typing and press Enter to search