Lots of love

The Beck family, of Emsworth, came out to support Gabrielle, age 4, when she decided to have her hair cut and donated to Locks of Love to help a child undergoing chemotherapy. Pictured behind Gabby are, from left, her brother Daniel, dad Brian, sister Gracie and mom Tracy. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

It all started with a mother-daughter talk. Mother, Tracy Beck and daughter, Gabrielle Elisabeth Beck.

"I had been telling her that there are very sick children who have lost all their hair," Tracy, a nurse, said. "Her face looked as if a light bulb turned on as she said, 'I have a lot I could give them.'"

Tracy told her how she could do that, but it would mean that she would have to get her hair cut quite short. "In her four years she has had only had a trim. But she loved the idea."

And so with Brian, her dad, along with sister Gracie, 6, and brother Daniel, 15 months, Gabrielle arrived for her appointment at Hair Galleria in Emsworth last Saturday. She climbed into a booster seat, looked into the mirror and smiled as she watched the stylist snip away in about one minute over 12 inches of blonde hair she had grown all of her young life.

The banded ponytail, carefully sealed in a plastic bag, was donated to Locks of Love, where it will find its way to a child who has lost her hair as a side effect of chemotherapy.

While some might be amazed to hear of a child so young having such a grown-up sense of caring, Tracy sees her daughter's act of kindness as being typical of her personality.

Explaining that kindness, Tracy described her daughter as being "... very compassionate, always thinking of others and wanting to be of help to them. She is so selfless. She is always doing things for her brother and sister. She will give up her favorite 'lovey' to make them feel better. Gabby is amazing and I want her to know it. She always offers what she has to everyone, no matter what it is. She'll cover you with a blanket or give you a pillow on her own. She's affectionate and she's a caretaker. Being a nurse for 15 years, I think that this is where she is headed in her future. "

Donating her hair was nothing out of the ordinary for Gabrielle. Tracy recalled an incident that occurred earlier this year, when Gabrielle's grandmother got the girls solar-powered angels with wings that flutter when in the window. Each angel has an inspirational line on it.

"A week or so after she got hers, Jeanine, my dear friend, suffered a stroke. When I told her how upset I was, Gabby asked if she could give Jeanine her angel to watch over her and help her feel better. We were all touched by her kind heart. We're so proud of her."

Brian asked his daughter if she would like to grow her hair and donate it again. "She didn't hesitate to say, 'Yes!''" he said.

Gabby said that she is very happy with her new style, but more importantly, she hopes the little girls who get her hair like it.

"That's Gab," Tracy said. "She is so selfless and always thinking of others."

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