MADISON, Wis. - When looking through photo albums Sarah Luedtke can track time by looking at her hair. From a photograph of her as a child with short blond hair to images of her in college with shoulder-length red hair; as the years have been added, so has her hair length.
"I haven't had a haircut in five years," Luedtke said.
While her hair has been so much a part of her identity, she is planning to part with it to help save a friend. Luedtke became friends with Jim Gainey while they were students at Edgewood College, and they have stayed friends for the last 14 years.
When Gainey, a husband and father of two boys, was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, Luedtke wanted to help him and his family deal with mounting medical bills.
"It is still really difficult to just sit there feeling helpless because there's only so much you can do," Luedtke said.
To help save the life of a friend, Luedtke decided to give up something that's been a big part of her life: her hair.
Luedtke is seeking donations for every one of the 24 inches of hair she will have cut off.
After going five years without cutting her hair, she is planning to change that on April 26. The fundraiser will culminate with Gainey cutting her hair.
"I want to do everything that I can to ensure that Jim gets to spend as much time as possible with his family. He has to beat this," Luedtke said.
She also wants to remind people that colon cancer screening is a highly effective tool in preventing the disease.
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