"Three years ago, my friend lost her son to cancer," Kannisto said. "He was a twin and very close in age to my twins. On the first anniversary of his passing, my three oldest boys donated their hair in his memory. Since their donation two years ago, our lives have continued to be touched by cancer. It's everywhere. My boys want to help, and donating their hair is how they do it."
Her oldest son, Andre, grew his hair out for a year. Her twins grew theirs for almost two years, and her triplets have been growing their hair out for all five years of their lives.
They're already planning their next donation, too, because their two-year-old sister wants to participate. Her hair wasn't long enough to donate, but she was able to sit in the salon and watch as her brothers got their hair cut.
"She watched in awe," Kannisto said. "[Her brothers] are great role models."
Kannisto said her sons have been frequently teased by youth and adults alike for choosing to grow out their hair for donation.
"One son has been teased more than the others," she said. "He and I have had many tear-filled conversations over the last several months. He explains the process of hair donation to his peers, and some of them just don't get it."
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.