An 11-year-old boy from Wales is on a mission to help people with cancer after meeting a young girl who had lost her hair due to chemotherapy.
Joshua Scott-Hill of Llanelli, a town on the country's southern coast, grew his hair for a year and a half so that it could be donated to make wigs for children with cancer. He was inspired after running into a girl with cancer, a daughter of one of his mother's friends, at a grocery store early last year, he and his mother told TODAY.
"He asked where her eyebrows were, and I was like, 'Oh no!'" his mom, Samantha Scott, 35, said.
"I was curious, so I asked her, and she said she was going through chemotherapy and that's why she lost her hair," Josh told TODAY.
Later, after talking to his mother, he decided to grow his hair long to help other children who have cancer.
Eighteen months later, Josh's hair had grown 10 inches. And on Saturday, he buzzed it all off, and donated the locks to an organization called Little Princess Trust, which makes real-hair wigs for boys and girls in the U.K. who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.
He also shared his story online, raising more than 3,400 pounds (about $4,436) to donate to another organization: Maggie's Centre Swansea, which provides support and funds for cancer patients and their families.
While Josh is already thinking of growing his hair all over again, he admits the process wasn't always easy; he faced some teasing at school because of his long locks.
"A couple of people called me 'girl,' ... they called me names," he said. "At first I got really upset. But then my mom reminded me why I'm growing my hair."
Scott posted before and after photos of her son's hair on their fundraising page.
"Today I am the proudest Mum on earth," she wrote.
She told TODAY that it took a couple of days for her son to get used to having short hair again, but he already sees one big benefit: "He believes he can run a lot faster," she said.
Josh hopes his story encourages other people to help charities, even if it means facing some teasing. He also hopes people learn to accept others who are different, such as children who have lost their hair.
"I want to say to people that if you're different from other people, it's fine, don't worry about it," he said. "Just be yourself; it's more important than fitting in the crowd."