Las Vegas, Nevada resident Lauren Laray is not your typical 8-year-old. She spends her time after school making YouTube tutorial videos on wig-making. She was motivated towards this unique project because of her best friend Celina Mendoza's younger sister, Leah, who was diagnosed with cancer. When Celina got her hair cut off to donate it, Lauren's father Larry jokingly asked her if she would also cut off her hair. Lauren had a better idea.
She now makes wigs specifically for young girls who’ve lost their hair during chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer treatments. She uses a crochet needle, a weave cap, and store bought hair to make the wigs look natural. Working nonstop, she can create a wig in an hour! According to Lauren's mother, Mia, "She's always been crafty. She has a tablet, and I (found) 10 tutorials on there where she's been making (different crafts). I knew she watched tutorials on YouTube, but I didn't know she was interested until I saw them. She was making all kinds of things. … So, she's always doing something. The first wig — she did it with ease. I mean, there was no problem. So, she does most of the work herself, but I'll just make sure everything's filled in. But 80 percent of the work, she does."
Brianna Jones, a 27-year-old lost her right leg early in February due to her battle with sarcoma. When she saw the family on the news she contacted them with no hesitation and they flew to the Summerlin area to bring her a wig at University Medical Center. Of the experience, Jones said “I was really excited, almost in tears because it's great that she's doing this for needy people. As soon as I reached out to them, they responded right back. It tells me that somebody cares."
Short-term, Lauren plans to produce ten wigs but hopes to make at least twenty over the summer when she has more free time. The wigs will all be donated to the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. Lauren’s GoFundMe account is still active for small donations to pay for supplies.
To learn more about Lauren Laray and her cause, see this video from News 3 Las Vegas.
Feature photo source.