Seven-year-old Vinny Desautels learned about cancer for the first time because his mother, Amanda Azevedo, was helping survivors of the disease get ready for a gala. She is a hair stylist who volunteered with a local lymphoma foundation, doing the hair of former cancer patients before they arrived at an annual benefit event.
As Azevedo was leaving one year, Vinny asked, “Hey Mom, what are you doing?”
She explained to her youngest son, as best as she could, the ruthlessness of cancer. Fighting the disease often meant losing your hair, Azevedo said, and this was a tough outcome, particularly for young women. She was just doing something small to help.
Hearing this, Vinny wanted to help, too. “Can I grow my hair out?” he asked.
For the next two years, the Roseville, Calif., kid with a toothy grin sported long brown locks that invited teasing on the playground. “He was mistaken for a girl many times,” his father, Jason Desautels, chuckled in a phone interview with The Washington Post late Monday. “He always took it like a champion.”
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