Cancer Survivor Gives Back

Ziniti donated her hair to the same organization from which she received a wig when she had cancer.

Jordan Revenaugh

Ziniti donated her hair to the same organization from which she received a wig when she had cancer.

Jordan Revenaugh, Staff Writer

Rochester Adams High School junior, Allie Ziniti, recently made the thoughtful and generous decision to donate 11 inches of her hair to Wigs for Kids, the very same organization from which she received a wig while undergoing chemotherapy.

“I had been thinking about it for a while. I wanted to give back to the organization that once gave so much to me,” Ziniti said of the decision to donate her hair.

Allie and her loved ones will forever remember August 3, 2009.   On this day, Allie was  diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Considered the most common childhood cancer, ALL develops white blood cells within the bone marrow, according to the American Cancer Society . The leukemia cells then infiltrate the blood quickly before moving to other regions of the body, primarily the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, brain, and spinal cord. This particular form of leukemia can progress rather quickly, turning fatal in only months if not caught early enough. If found in the beginning stages, however, it can be treated mainly through chemotherapy, as can be seen in Ziniti’s case.

Two years prior to the diagnosis, Ziniti began to experience joint pains which appeared and disappeared randomly. Doctors were unsure of the source of the pain until samples of her bone marrow were taken and sent to be tested. It was then that the cause of the mysterious pain was determined to be cancer.

For two long, hard years, Ziniti fought relentlessly against the illness which kept her out of school for all of fifth and most of sixth grade. With the support of her loving friends and family, along with an unwavering will to emerge victorious from the battle, Ziniti conquered her cancer and has been in remission since November 23, 2011.

The decision to donate her hair was anything but impulsive for Ziniti.

“I was ready for a change,” she explained. “I had been growing it out to donate it. I always knew I was going to. It was really a matter of making sure that I had enough to give them a good amount.”

As Ziniti knows personally, the effects of chemotherapy are not only physical, but emotional too, and every little bit of love and care goes a long way. The child who receives the wig made from Ziniti’s hair will be eternally grateful for her seemingly small, yet immeasurable act of kindness.