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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Freshmen at U.S. military colleges must often cut their hair upon the start of their education. For one recent graduate of New Century Technology High School, this college-prep-step was about more than just a trip to the barber.

Kieran Moise has only gotten a handful of haircuts in his entire life, but today he sat in front of a crowd at Straight To Ale, which he calls a hub of the city, to get a cut for the first time in “four or six years,” Moise said.

“I hated haircuts, that’s probably the biggest reason. My dad always wanted me to cut it short but that was always a thing people noticed me for,” he said.

He was inspired to donate 19 inches of hair after seeing St. Baldrick’s doing a fundraiser in town. The wigs will go to cancer patients.

Family and friends surrounded him and cheered him on, some even joining in the cutting fun.

Together, they closed this chapter of his life, and ushered in the next.

“I’ll lose part of my personality but also gain something,” Moise said.

He’s starting his college career at the United States Air Force Academy in less than a month. As if donating his hair wasn’t enough, in the weeks leading up to this event, he also started an online fundraiser, “Curls for Cancer.” The proceeds benefit St. Jude’s hospital.

St. Jude’s is an organization Moise has held close to his heart for years.

“I did have a friend, Josh Quist, who passed away in my 8th-grade year, and I knew St. Jude helped his family so I knew that was a good company to give to,” Moise said.

Moise’s mother, Kelly Moise, said while it was hard to see her son change such a big part of himself through his haircut, she’s proud that he did it for a cause.

“As a mom, you want to raise good kids,” Kelly Moise said.

Kieran Moise wants others to think outside of themselves, and he hopes his haircut makes them want to consider donating too.

“I hope this inspires other people to do the same thing. There’s a length requirement but that’s pretty much it to donate their hair. If anyone else wants to donate their hair or start their own fundraiser, they can,” he said.

The St. Jude donation portal will remain open through Memorial Day. To learn more, click here.