Cambridge cop donates hair, raises money for cancer

After battling cancer himself, Officer Chris O'Callaghan wanted to give back.

After battling cancer himself, Officer Chris O'Callaghan decided to donate his hair and raise funds for those battling cancer. Courtesy

Fighting cancer was one of the hardest things Cambridge police Officer Chris O’Callaghan has had to do, but sacrificing his hair to raise funds and attention for those fighting cancer was one of the easiest.

After more than a year of growing out his hair, the 37-year-old traffic cop cut it Friday and donated it to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that turns donated hair into wigs for cancer patients.

In conjunction with his donation, O’Callaghan raised funds for Cops for Kids with Cancer. So far he’s raised more than $2,500. Donations are still being accepted.

“I am so humbled, so grateful for everyone’s help,” said the third-generation Cambridge police officer.

After battling cancer himself, Officer Chris O’Callaghan decided to donate his hair and raise funds for those battling cancer. Here, he’s seen in the barbershop after his haircut. – Courtesy

After finding a lump on the back of his neck, O’Callaghan was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2019. He underwent more than five months of chemotherapy before his doctors told him he was in remission.


As an adult, O’Callaghan had a hard time with his treatment, which was painful and made him weak. He lost all of his hair. But he fought hard, with his high school mascot — the Matignon Warrior — at the forefront of his thoughts, as an emblem of his fight.

During his treatment, O’Callaghan couldn’t imagine what it must be like for children who were fighting cancer.

As his hair started to return, he decided to let it grow and then donate it for cancer patients. The Cambridge Police Department has been very supportive.

“I felt like I had to do something,” O’Callaghan said. “You get this hunch in your stomach. You have to do more. You have to pay it forward.”

When the time came for his haircut, O’Callaghan had 10 inches of hair to donate.

While he could have kept some hair — maybe half an inch or so — he decided to have it all buzzed off, in solidarity with those who are still fighting cancer.

“It’s just hair, it will grow back,” he said.

Jump To Comments


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com