Archived Story

Remembering ‘Grandma’

Published 4:32pm Sunday, April 6, 2014

AHOSKIE – Before the calendar flips to May, Jane Marie Hollingsworth will have celebrated her 10th birthday.

That’s way too young to enjoy life minus a grandmother.

Jane Marie Hollingsworth holds two handfuls of her hair that will be donated to “Locks of Love” in memory of her late grandmother, Linda Vinson Jernigan. Becky Evans (standing) of Kut-N-Up of Ahoskie handled the scissors for the cut. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant
Jane Marie Hollingsworth holds two handfuls of her hair that will be donated to “Locks of Love” in memory of her late grandmother, Linda Vinson Jernigan. Becky Evans (standing) of Kut-N-Up of Ahoskie handled the scissors for the cut. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant

For the second time in her young life, Jane has donated her thick, brown hair to Locks of Love – a Florida-based non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term hair loss due to any type of medical diagnosis.

In both cases, Jane’s donation was a tribute to her grandmother, Linda Vinson Jernigan. The first time came two years ago when Jernigan was battling breast cancer…..the latest was on Thursday of this week, 47 days after Jernigan lost that battle.

“Awesome,” were the only words from Jane, after exiting Becky Evans’ chair at Kut-N-Up of Ahoskie, when asked how she felt about the opportunity to help other children dealing with hair loss due to a medical condition.

“She absolutely adored her grandmother,” said Jane’s mom, Elizabeth Hollingsworth. “Jane was the youngest of my mom’s four grandchildren, so she was the baby of the family and you know how the youngest ones are always treated.”

Linda Vinson Jernigan and her husband, Steve, resided on Main Street in Winton. They sold that property five years ago where Family Dollar now stands and moved back to her family farm on Vinson Mill Road near Murfreesboro.

Mrs. Hollingsworth shared the story of her mom’s courageous battle vs. cancer, starting with her first diagnosis in June of 2009.

“She initially had a mastectomy and really had no issues early on after that surgery,” she recalled. “But when the cancer came back last spring, it returned with vengeance….very active, very aggressive, and invaded her brain, lungs, liver and pelvic bone.

“She gave it her all; she battled and fought this cancer for eight months through many radiation and chemo treatments and procedures. But her beating cancer and surviving was not meant to be,” Hollingsworth added.

Jane, a fourth-grader at Ahoskie Elementary School, is also remembering her late Grandma through her hand-made rainbow loom bracelets. They come in different colors – the most popular being pink and purple – and sell for $2 each. Thus far she has generated $50 in sales, money she will donate to the “Southern Chicks” Relay for Life team.

“Jane Marie, much like her Grandma, is such an inspiration to our family and friends – that even a little brown eyed girl that is not quite 10 years of age can make a difference,” said a proud mom.  “That difference is not only in the lives of children suffering from the effects of illnesses such as cancer by donating her hair to be made into a wig for a child who has lost their hair, but she is also doing her part to raise funds to help support further cancer research.

“I firmly believe that in the past years, research that was funded by organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life has led to the development of new medications and treatments. My mom was on two of the newest cancer medications and while those medications did not totally rid her of cancer or cure her from cancer, they gave us precious additional time with her,” Hollingsworth concluded.

That additional time led to an opportunity for grandma and granddaughter to form a bond that will last a lifetime.

For more information on how to donate hair to benefit children, visit www.locksoflove.org.

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