Cumberland banker chops long locks in honor of loved ones lost to two devastating diseases

Street Stories

CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WPRI) — After 15 months of growing his hair out, a Cumberland man finally got it cut for two causes close to his heart.

David Caruso stopped visiting his local barbershop back when the pandemic first shut them all down last March.

But even after restrictions lifted, he decided to keep it growing.

It all started after a conversation David had with an employee at a local pharmacy.

“One of the girls there said to me, ‘when are you going to cut your hair? When you do, you should do something special and raise money,'” he recalled. “Then one thing led to another and here we are.”

David said his thoughts turned to his mother, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2007, and his mother-in-law, who passed away from Alzheimer’s last year.

He immediately began soliciting donations for the Breast Health Center at Women & Infants Hospital and the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital.

“[Their deaths] touched our family deeply,” David said. “The kids were devastated. It was tough for everybody, so to be able to give something back to the two places that helped us the most is important to us.”

While long hair isn’t typically part of his dress code at work, the local banker’s boss was all for it and even encouraged him to attend business meetings.

“I told my boss and she said, ‘I want you to go. They’re going to ask you about it and when you do, you can tell them you’re fishing for donations,'” he recalled.

It all came to a head earlier this week, when David had all of his hair chopped off on Facebook Live.

David’s daughter Lauren tells 12 News each swipe of the razor represented a donation.

When asked whether his mother and mother-in-law would be proud of them, David said absolutely.

“I think they’re extremely proud of what we try to do as a family,” he said. “I think they’re extremely proud of how we conduct ourselves in public and I think they’re just having a good time up there.”

Lauren said her grandmothers taught her plenty of valuable lessons over the years, but a quote that David’s mother used to say all the time has always stuck with her.

“It’s from Albert Einstein, and it’s: ‘there are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, and the other is as though everything is a miracle,'” Lauren said. “I think about that a lot.”

“If you can take something good from a situation that’s not the best, I think that’s the best way to go about life, because it’s way too short,” she continued. “Live life the best you can, and help as many people as you can and love as many people as you can.”

Anyone who’s interested in donating to either cause can do so using the links below:

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