When her friend Sadie Freifeld was diagnosed with cancer, 8-year-old Morgan Mass knew exactly what she wanted to do. She wanted to cut her hair.
She did it in honor of Sadie, who, at age 3, was diagnosed this past May with neuroblastoma, which is among the most common forms of cancer among infants.
The two became friends through their parents – Beth and Steven Freifeld, from Merrick, and Andrea and Paul Mass, from Bellmore – who met several years ago at a Hadassah event.
Since then, the two families have spent many hours together, including trips to the beach, as well as spending summers together. “We just kind of all hit it off,” said Andrea Mass.
Over time, Morgan, a third-grade student at Winthrop Avenue School in Bellmore, and her brother Mitchell, 11, became close with the Freifelds’ two children, Sadie and her 8-year-old brother Max. So close, that it was easy for Morgan to decide what she wanted to do once she heard the news that Sadie had cancer.
"The day that I came home and told Morgan that Sadie had cancer,” Andrea said, “she said immediately, ‘Mommy, I'm not going to cut my hair again, and as soon as I have 10 inches I want to donate it to Locks of Love.’"
True to her word, Morgan did not get another haircut, and once her hair was over 10 inches long – the minimum length required for donation – she headed straight to Metromodes Salon in Bellmore and had her hair cut to donate it to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces for disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any illness.
"I feel really happy that I donated my hair for Sadie,” Morgan said. “I'm so excited that her hair is growing back and she is feeling good."
"I'm so proud of her,” Andrea said. “It's one thing to just donate your hair because you want to do it, but when you're doing it for something close to you. I'm proud that she wanted to do it for Sadie, and for all children and adults that have cancer."
It was a touching experience for both families, who have been through a great deal since learning of Sadie’s diagnosis.