Young Katriel Zahra, who is so well-loved for his altruistic spirit despite the rare condition he suffers from, has fulfilled another of his dreams: to cut the hair of another boy like himself in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund which produces wigs for those whose hair has fallen out due to illness. On Sunday morning, Katriel cut the hair of 12-year-old Neil Aquilina who has often been bullied because he has let his hair grow long for this purpose.
We found Katriel at a hair salon, where he has been practicing on various hairstyles for several months. He was excited because he was going to fulfill another of his dreams, to cut long hair to give it as a donation to the Malta Community Chest Fund which it will turn into a wig. Before cutting Neil’s hair, Katriel had to go to a hospital for an injection which he needs to take once a month because of his rare condition and he was in pain. TVM asked Katriel why he still had accepted to cut the hair despite being in pain.
“Because I want through this, my hair fell off and now it is back to normal, so I enjoy every experience I have to cut someone’s hair, because especially for many young girls who lose their hair due to cancer, it is very difficult.”
It did not take very long for Katriel, guided by hairstylist Celine Paris, to cut Neil Aquilina’s hair – the boy has been growing his hair long specifically in order to donate it to the MCCF. Neil was happy to have Katriel cut his hair because he admires him, and he told us that other children used to bully him because of his long hair. However, Neil said that he remained strong.
“I wanted to defy them and not give in to their bullying when they were taunting me to stop growing my hair long – this is my hair and the more I defied them, the quieter they became, because if you give in to bullying, they will just keep at it.”
Meanwhile, Katriel, who has suffered a lot in his life because of the considerable number of operations he has had, continues to impress the public with the message of courage he is sending:
“First of all, I want others not to give up, and if they have nice long hair, they should donate it.”
Katriel and Neil have now become fast friends and have agreed to join forces again to do something else to help others who are in need.