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The Touching Thing This 5-Year-Old Did After Losing Her Dad To Cancer

A Wisconsin preschooler celebrated her fifth birthday with a special tribute to her father, who died of cancer. 

Olesia Clark was 2 years old when her dad Kyle passed away in December 2012 after a 17-month battle with brain cancer, her mom Elizabeth told The Huffington Post. 

“Olesia and Kyle were very close,” Clark said. “They spent a lot of time hanging out, going for long walks and reading books. He even took her to the gym with him where he worked part-time where she would sit behind the desk with him to greet clients.”

Around the time school ended last year, Olesia asked her mom if she could cut her hair and give it to kids who have cancer. When Clark asked her daughter why she wanted to do that, “she said that a friend from her class had done it and that she thought it was a really good thing to do,” the mom said. 

As Olesia and her mom were starting to plan her fifth birthday party, they decided that would be the perfect time to make the hair donation. On July 18, Clark’s stylist friend Tracie came to their house, and cut off 12 inches of Olesia’s hair to donate to Wigs for Kids.

Though the little girl “seemed a little nervous,” her mom said Olesia’s face “lit up” in excitement when Tracie handed her the freshly cut ponytail.  ”It was a really hot and humid day so when her new cut and style was complete, she kept running her fingers through it telling me that it felt ‘so cool.'” Clark said.

Olesia then celebrated her fifth birthday with friends and family, but instead of opening traditional birthday gifts she asked guests to make donations to the Aurora Health Care Foundation to support neuro-oncology research at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. 

The donations in lieu of presents idea was a suggestion from Olesia’s mom. “I asked her, ‘Would you like to ask for birthday gifts for your birthday like you do every year or since you are going to be donating your hair, would you also like to ask your friends to make donations to help people like your daddy instead of bringing gifts?'” Clark told HuffPost. “Without hesitation, her response was, ‘I want to help people like my daddy!'”

Clark said Olesia still cherishes her memories of her father. “The thing that she remembers most about him is how much fun they used to have together,” the mom said. “He was a really funny guy and she remembers that he was really funny and made her smile a lot, even when he was in the hospital.”

The mom also believes Olesia’s selflessness is making her dad very proud. “He was always proud of her, from the time she took her first breath until the time he took his last. There is not a doubt in my mind that he’s up there in Heaven, smiling down on her with pride at this very moment,” she said.

Clark hopes her family’s story will raise awareness and inspire people to donate to brain cancer research. She also hopes Olesia can inspire other people who have lost loved ones to cancer to get their children involved in the cause. 

“Olesia went through a lot when her dad died and still struggles with the aftermath of losing a parent. Making the decisions to cut her hair and then to collect donations instead of birthday presents gave her a new sense of healing from her experiences,” the mom said. “It opened up an opportunity for her to talk about her dad and help others in the process. And she didn’t miss the presents at all — in fact, she still looks for donation notifications in the mail every day in hopes that more people are giving.”

H/T Babble

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