As a toddler, Toni Bouck remembers spending time at doctors’ offices and hospitals. As the Woodsboro High School senior grew older, she learned the significance of those memories.
“My dad had cancer,” she says. “It happened so early in my life, mostly, I just remember the nurses giving me suckers.”
In the last two or three years, both of her grandparents were stricken with cancer as well.
“When my grandpa got cancer, that was pretty much in my face,” she said.
In a short period of time, the teen had another blow. Two summers ago, her father, Todd Bouck, suffered a heart attack.
“It was hot and sticky so I got my hair cut but it was too short to donate,” she said.
In the fall, she made the decision to let her hair grow for two years – by that time the length would be sufficient to donate to Locks of Love.
“I’m not going to use it anymore so I figured it was the right thing to do,” she said.
Growing her hair long had a twofold purpose. First, long hair was more appropriate for her role as Cinderella in the UIL one-act play. After watching her own family suffer through cancer, helping to make someone else’s life a little easier was the right thing for her to do.
Toni and her family moved from Indiana to South Texas when she was in junior high school. Her parents, Monica and Todd Bouck, gave Toni a choice rarely given a child. She was allowed to select her school.
The only restriction was that the school had to be in an area conducive to commuting to Beeville, where Toni’s mother works.
“I looked at Exemplary schools in the area and found Woodsboro. We checked it out on a visit,” Toni said. “Mr. Hicks gave us a tour. The campus was so pretty.”
She knew Woodsboro was right for her. After leaving a school with hundreds of students, the idea of a 36-member class was appealing.
With her senior year just about up, Toni has no regrets about the move to Woodsboro – she’s also happy about having two ponytails to donate.