Boonville mother-daughter team bringing ‘Hair Fairy’ to Tri-State

Boonville mother-daughter team bringing ‘Hair Fairy’ to Tri-State
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:51 PM CDT
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BOONVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A mother-daughter team in Boonville is working to connect children in need with the “Hair Fairy,” who they say visits kids who have lost their hair due to cancer or other illnesses.

Heather Lawson and Taylor Rusin have lost several people close to them to cancer. Both say they have found a way to turn their grief into something more positive by making sure children in need, and their families, get a visit from the “Hair Fairy.”

Mother-daughter team Heather and Taylor are working to make things a little easier for families experiencing tragedy, something they know a lot about.

“Any time you can put a little magic in it, a little Disney, a little bit of pixie dust, it makes it a little bit better,” said Heather.

Heather says when she was 33, she lost her 35-year-old husband to lung cancer. She learned he had a genetic mutation that made his body unable to fight cancer. She says there was a 50% chance the condition passed on to each of their four children.

Heather’s daughter, and Taylor’s sister, Alexis had the same condition and was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. They say it was especially hard for her when she lost her hair.

“She found so much power in her hair, and she would spend hours and hours brushing it and wanting it to look just so-so,” said Taylor. “When it was gone it was like everybody knew she was sick. She couldn’t hide it anymore.”

Alexis was 18 years old when she passed away a year ago. Since then, Heather and Taylor have found a way to turn their grief into something positive.

They have connected with the local nonprofit “Granted” to connect needy families with gifts from the “Hair Fairy.” These include letters to the sick child as well as their parents, a hat picked specifically for each child, and a homemade pillow with a space for the child to put a lock of their hair. After the Hair Fairy takes the child’s hair, they say it leaves behind a gift specific to each child in need.

They say Taylor has the same genetic mutation as Alexis and her father, which doctors say gives her a 100% chance to have cancer by the time she’s 60. They say it means a lot to take their struggles and pain, and use them to help others.

“To embrace that memory, embrace that grief, and then do something good about it for someone else who might be going through that soon, it makes it a really good thing for me,” said Heather.

Heather and Taylor say the best way to support what they do is to support “Granted.”

To learn more about the non-profit and what you can do to help, click here.