June 4, 2015 10:42 AM EDT

People teased him for looking like a girl, but 8-year-old Christian McPhilamy had long blonde hair for a very good reason.

Christian, of Melbourne, Fla., had grown his hair out for more than two years to donate to children who had lost theirs, Today reports. He recently got it cut and produced four 10-inch-long sections that he sent to the nonprofit Children With Hair Loss.

As his hair got longer over the years, Christian was often teased by classmates, mistaken for a girl or told that he needed to cut his hair. “Christian has such a huge heart,” his mom, Deeanna Thomas, told Today. “I don’t even know if there are words to describe how proud I am of him.”


Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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