HOWELL – A 10-year-old boy from Howell Township is inspiring others to help those in need after donating 11 inches of hair for kids with cancer.
Back in 2020, Robert Murphy, also known as “Bubba,” wanted to grow out his hair to donate, after being inspired to do so.
“One of his friends grew out his hair and donated it, an older kid who played sports with him. So, he asked me ‘why do you donate your hair?’ I told him well, there’s a couple reasons. There are people with hair loss problems, alopecia, and then there’s people with cancer. They get sick and they get wigs who donate hair so that they can feel like themselves again,” Bubba’s mom Candace said. “Then he asked me if little kids get cancer and I said unfortunately they do. He said, ‘so little girls walk around with no hair?’ That’s when he said he wanted to grow his hair out to donate.”
Bubba then went on a two-year journey to grow out his hair. It started out as a mohawk and slowly grew into a mullet. He grew it through football, wrestling, baseball, and lacrosse season. During this time, he didn’t care what his hair looked like, he just wanted to grow his hair for kids.
“His long hair and mullet became well known around town as well as in other towns. For example, during football this year, a kid on another team said ‘hey look it’s the mullet kid from baseball!’” Candace said.
Once his hair was ready to be donated, Bubba wanted to cut his hair with his football team around. Simultaneously, he also wanted to raise money for a charity since his “mullet” and goal to grow out his hair was gaining popularity.
“Bubba didn’t stop at wanting to grow out his mullet for donation, he wanted to pair with a charity organization that helps kids with cancer. Through the help of some close friends, we found the local charity Liv Like a Unicorn. The charity raises money to help the families and children who are dealing with childhood brain and spinal cancer,” Candace said.
On October 9, Bubba cut about 11 inches of his hair with not only his whole football team by his side, but also kids from other teams and other sports, and the adults who knew of what he was doing.
“The entire Howell community supported Bubba in cutting his hair,” Candace said. “It was actually a pretty emotional moment. I didn’t expect it to be, but to see so many people love him and care about what he was doing… The biggest thing for us is to highlight this charity.”
Bubba said that he plans to continue growing out his hair that way he can make another donation in the future. He also wants to carry on with collecting donations for the charity.
“A lot of kids have reached out to him and told him that they want to grow out their hair too and donate,” Candace said. “I’ve had parents reach out and say, ‘you don’t understand what this has done for our kids. They want to do good now, for other people.’ It’s really touching and overwhelming.”
“He was getting text messages from kids on his football team saying, ‘Bubba we look up to you; you’re a great inspiration; we’re so glad you play on our football team,’ Bubba touched so many people through this action with no intention of gaining any recognition, purely to raise money for this outstanding organization,” Candace added.
To learn more about the hair donation organization, Children With Hair Loss, visit childrenwithhairloss.us. To learn more about the local charity Liv Like a Unicorn, visit livlikeaunicorn.org.