Hockey hair. What would our Canadian hockey culture be without it? Seriously – does it get any better than Captain Canada himself, Ryan Smyth? With those flowing locks being such an iconic image of the sport we all love, it’s hard to imagine a kid being bullied for having hockey hair—especially one of our kids in the CRHL. But that’s exactly what happened to our own Bantam player, Caleb.
Hold on there, just a minute. Before you get too upset, wait until you hear the whole story—including what he did in response.
A year ago, Caleb was at a point where his hair was naturally getting longer. Perhaps a trip to the barber might have been in the cards back then at some point, but let it suffice to say that it wasn’t top of mind for this young man. Unfortunately, some kids at Caleb’s school began to bully him. They taunted him about his hair and made comments which we simply can’t bear to repeat because it breaks our hearts.
It would not be difficult to imagine Caleb letting these comments get to him. Nor would it be difficult to imagine him rushing to get his hair cut just to make the bullying stop. But that’s not what Caleb did. Instead, he decided he was going to stand up to the bullying in the most awe-inspiring, most unbelievable way ever…
He was going to grow his hair even longer. But not only that, he was going to donate it for cancer!
In order to make a wig, Caleb’s hair will need to be eight inches in length. He expects to have attained that length by April of this year. When that happens, he plans to have an assembly at school to have it cut in front of everyone. He’ll also be inviting friends and family, cancer survivors, and even the local media.
Now how’s that for a kid showing the world that bullying is not going to bring him down?
There is a personal element to this goal for Caleb, as well. His mother, it turns out, is a breast cancer survivor. Caleb knows first-hand what it’s like for patients going through chemotherapy to have to lose their hair. That, and to help raise money, is what is motivating Caleb now.
While this is the first time he is donating his hair, it is not the first time he has been involved in charity work. He helps out with a charity called Go 4 Broke, which raises money for spinal cord research. The organization was founded by Caleb’s father, one of our very own CRHL board members, when Caleb’s aunt Henriette sadly passed away from a spinal cord injury in 2013. In addition to this, Caleb helps his father with practices for the Atom hockey team his dad coaches with the CRHL, and he also volunteers at the Courtice Food Bank with his church.
This is one of our young players of whom we are immensely proud, and when we found out what he was doing, we simply couldn’t keep it to ourselves. We just had to share it with all of our members. Caleb, we are inspired by your efforts and your selflessness, and we applaud you for everything you’re doing. Keep up the amazing work!
If you’re interested in finding out more about Caleb and his efforts, check out his site at www.tjccfrench.wixsite.com/showyoucare.