Seventeen-year-old Rensselaer Central High School student Tyler Castongia recently had his long locks of hair removed and donated to the Locks of Love charity organization. The donation was made in honor of his 43 year-old stepsister, Mandy Alson Miller, who needed to use a wig after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Castongia first heard about the charity organization, which provides hair appliances to children suffering from hair-loss via donations, through his mother, Arlen Castongia.

“I’ve seen it in the newspapers before,” she said.

Tyler had already made the decision to donate his hair, however, which he allowed to grow between August 2017 and this week. After making the decision, he told his mother about the idea.

“I said I was going to donate my hair, and she’s like ‘Oh Locks of Love’ and I was like ‘Who?’”

Beforehand, his mother didn’t know the special reason why he was letting his hair grow so long.

“I’m like ‘You’ve got to get a haircut,’” she remembered. “And he’s like ‘No, I’m doing this for Mandy.’”

Castongia, his mother and his father, Jon Castongia, went to see him get his hair cut at the Cutting Floor beauty salon on Wednesday. The salon will be donating the hair in the near future. More information on the organization can be found at