Riverton basketball coach donates his hair
Chris Rodriguez runs the youth basketball program for Riverton High School. He assists seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders with learning to play the game. Recently, he made an assist off the court to the charity, Locks of Love.
“About two years ago, I shaved my head as I prepared to run a half marathon. When I looked on the floor at all of my hair, I thought that I should donate it,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez cut off four, 11-and-a-half-inch hair braids and donated them to Locks of Love.
Locks of Love is a nonprofit organization that provides hair pieces to children under age 21, suffering from long-term medical hair loss from many different diagnosis. A hair donation must be at least 10 inches long, healthy and not dyed.
“Most people can only donate one braid, but because I did not care how short my hair was going to end up, I was able to donate four braids. I am told that is enough to make one wig,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez became more energized about his decision to donate his hair about a year into growing it out. Stephanie Galley, Riverton basketball head coach Steve Galley’s wife, and a friend of his, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I told Stephanie that I would not cut my hair until she could. She had her first hair cut a few weeks ago,” Rodriguez said.
Stephanie Galley was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2011. She finished her treatments in February 2012, and is cancer free today.
“Every time I would see Chris with his hair, it would make me smile. To have support from friends and family just kept me going because it is a fight,” Galley said.
“I am now taking the next step. I had my blood tested to see if I can donate bone marrow. I would do it again in a heartbeat -- if my wife will let me,” Rodriguez said.