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11/28/2013 8:05:00 AM
For Rachel, giving hair a way to follow Jesus' lead
Jones family photos
Adrianne Unis removes the hair of Rachel Jones.
Jones family photos
Adrianne Unis removes the hair of Rachel Jones.
Rachel Jones' locks, ready to become a wig.
Rachel Jones' locks, ready to become a wig.

Somewhere, a cancer patient is more confident because of Rachel Jones' hair.
The St. Therese seventh grader donated her long, brunette waves to Locks of Love, an organization that provides wigs for patients who've lost their hair because of chemotherapy or radiation.

"We keep getting the message in religion class — 'Do things for others,'" says Rachel, whose hair is now well above the shoulder, having before been midway down her back.
The day after the severe trim, her friends were aghast. But she is not phased. Rachel felt like something was missing for awhile, but now is used to the way she looks.

The woman who did the snipping deed is Adrianne Unis, mother of one of Rachel's classmates.

Rachel's mother is an oncology nurse, so the girl is accustomed to patients who have lost their hair and struggle to feel comfortable. She also once saw her father shave his head in solidarity with a cancer patient.

"I felt really proud of myself when I did it," Rachel says. "One of my friends said, 'You are so brave.'"

Rachel, in addition to doing good deeds, is an A student and has dreams. She hopes to become a lawyer and then a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Along the way, she'd like to own the St. Louis Cardinals.

Janie Ballou, sixth grade teacher at St. Therese, is also Rachel's confirmation sponsor. Ballou says Rachel is respected by peers and teachers and has a good sense of humor. Rachel babysat Ballou's daughter while the teacher led first Communion classes on Sundays.

"Overall, she is a very giving person," Ballou says.  

The teacher is glad her student has learned one of the most important lessons at St. Therese. "We teach our students on a daily basis that living like Jesus is one of the biggest things we can do each day," Ballou says. "To the school it means that we hope to send out many more students like Rachel Jones into the world who try and live like Jesus by thinking of and caring for others around her."

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