ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - An APG military child recently donated 15 inches of her own hair to benefit her peers suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Karisia Torrales, 10, donated her hair Jan. 11 to a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under the age of 21 living in the United States and Canada who suffer from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. The mission of this organization is to help these children build their self-esteem and return to a sense of normalcy.

This was the first time in her life that Karisia had her hair cut, except for small trims at home. Her parents, Sgt. Julio Torrales from the 22nd Chemical Battalion, and her mother, Brenda Torrales, said they were extremely proud and happy to see their daughter participate in this selfless act of compassion.

"She was known for her hair because it was so long," said Sgt. Julio Torrales. "She said, `If I ever get my hair cut, I want to donate it. I am very proud that she decided to do this on her own."

Karisia said she had been thinking about donating her hair for the past two years. She said she wants to help children who have cancer or who have lost their hair due to radiation therapy.

"I didn't think it is fair that they do not have hair when I do," said Karisia.

Karisia is a fourth grade student at Roye-Williams Elementary School in Havre de Grace. She attends the APG North youth center and participates in the center's Skills Mastery and Resistance Training (SMART) Girls program, which teaches important life skills to girls between the ages of 8 to 17. She is also involved in Child, Youth and School Services Sports programs.

Karisia said her eventual goal is to pursue a career in the medical field.

Page last updated Mon January 27th, 2014 at 16:00