MFRD Firefighter "Pays It Forward" by Donating Hair to Cancer Victims

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Matthew Young

A Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department Firefighter is "paying it forward" today by donating his hair to help cancer victims.

Fifteen years ago today, Firefighter Matthew Young was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). He completed two rounds of chemotherapy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and was released on July 2, 2001.

For the last two years, Young has been growing his hair to donate to "Children with Hair Loss."


"Because of the cancer, I am unable to donate blood or become an organ donor, but I still wanted to be able to help others fighting the same battle," said Young. So Wednesday he went to his barber, Shelly Hartley, at Nate's Barber Shop. "It took an hour and a half to cut his hair," said Shelly. "We ended up with a total of 16 ponytails, which should be enough for at least three wigs."

"It just made sense to go ahead and cut it today," said Young. "I'm fortunate that I beat cancer and have gone on to live a happy and healthy life for the last fifteen years."


Young has been a Firefighter with MFRD since September 2006.

"We are very proud of all of the men and women in our department who show compassion for others both on and off duty," said Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks. "I know Matt got teased a lot for his long hair, but it was for a great cause."

For more information on "Children with Hair Loss," please visit

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