Surrey nine-year-old Karsen Myers before (left) and after his hair was cut for charity. (Photos: Instagram.com/Kman4Kidz)

Bullied Surrey boy had hair chopped early, but his fundraising effort won’t be cut short

Surrey firefighters and others donate to Karsen Myers’ ‘Balding for Dollars’ cause

Karsen Myers got his long hair cut a bit early because of bullying at school and at a local skate park.

The nine-year-old Surrey boy had been growing his blond locks with a goal of raising $20,000 for Balding for Dollars, the children’s cancer charity, but the teasing got too much.

“Some of the kids were calling him a girl because of how long his hair was,” said Karsen’s mom, Tara Blackwell.

“The bullying started this year.… He really hated when they called him Kaitlin instead of Karsen. He’d come home crying, saying, ‘They were just awful to me today,’” she added.

So, a decision was made to cut his hair just before Christmas, several months shy of his planned haircut in May – but Karsen’s fundraising efforts have not been cut short.

People and groups continue to chip in with donations, including some Surrey firefighters who heard about Karsen’s cause and came to his aid.

On Boxing Day, Karsen and his sister were given a special tour of a Clayton Heights firehall, in the neighbourhood where the family lives, and Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society contributed $1,000 to his fundraiser.

“With that donation, we’re at $12,450.82 right now, which is amazing,” Blackwell said.

When they met Karsen, the firefighters wore pink shirts in a stand against bullying.

“Keep up the great work Karsen,” the firefighters posted to their Facebook page.

(story continues below)

Karsen’s story is told in a post at baldingfordollars.com, which includes a link to his fundraising page. Photos and video can be found at instagram.com/kman4kidz.

Blackwell said Karsen’s fundraising project was a perfect fit for him, as it showed his determination and lively spirit.

“He always dug the long-hair vibe, and it was just above his ears when I read him this story of a local boy doing something similar,” Blackwell explained. “He lit up and said, ‘I can do that,’ and I said, ‘Yeah you can.’”

The fundraising began last April, about a year after Karsen began growing his hair, and the $20,000 goal was set.

“We just sort of threw that number out there, and he raised the first $1,000 in the first week, and it just kept going as more people shared it (on social media),” Blackwell said. “We’re pretty blown away by how many people are interested in this cause, which is great.”

Balding for Dollars is a partnership program with BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, which aims to raise funds for oncology, hematology, and bone marrow transplant patients while also collecting hair donations.

Karsen’s chopped hair is already being made into wigs. “They were impressed by how much hair was (donated),” Blackwell said.

Karsen’s fundraising page will remain active until May, when a Balding for Dollars wrap-up event is scheduled.

“He’s super excited, and getting to the point of being a bit overwhelmed, but he’s loving it,” Blackwell said of all the attention, including reports on TV news.

As for the bullying Karsen endured, Blackwell didn’t want to name the school he attends, but planned to meet with staff to discuss what can be done in the future.

“I’ll be talking with school about connection and bullying,” she said in mid-December. “The support staff and the principal are amazing, and I just want to make certain the future is positive, not only for Karsen, but everyone.”

An outpouring of support from friends on social media has given her hope that the message is getting through.

“I’ve just been learning so much – to be mindful of what we say. People have been so positive and supportive in a way I didn’t think was possible in this and age,” Blackwell said.

with a file from Ryan Uytdewilligen, Black Press Media



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: One injured in shooting on South Surrey-Langley border

Shots reported near 194 Street and 34 Avenue, burned-out vehicle found in 18100-block of 12 Avenue

PHOTOS: South Surrey skunk family photo earns honourable mention in BC SPCA contest

Winners of society’s latest wildlife photography contest announced

Surrey wrestler Jason Bains receives four-year suspension for using banned substance

Queen Elizabeth Secondary grad tests positive for steroid Turinabol, silver national medal removed

New categories announced for Delta Chamber’s Hats Off to Excellence Awards

Nominations close for two new apprentice categories on Oct. 15; other categories close on Sept. 18

UPDATED: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Peace Arch Hospital

Provincial health officer says outbreak is in the facility’s rehab unit

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Report raises questions about COVID outbreak that killed 25 seniors at Langley Lodge

CEO defends leaked document that’s igniting queries about BC’s most deadly COVID outbreak

PHOTO: RCMP escort beaver across busy Chilliwack road

Motorists had to exercise patience as the slow-moving creature crossed several lanes of traffic

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

Most Read