OXFORD, Ohio - February is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. It has taken on even more meaning for the Miami University women's basketball family this season as sophomore point guard Courtney Larson's mother is currently fighting strong against this deadly disease. The RedHawks have been trying to raise money and awareness this past month with the pink jersey auction and the rebound pledge drive, but Larson wanted to take it a step further. She recently cut off eight and a half inches of her long hair and donated it to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program.

"With my mom being sick, it is kind of a helpless feeling," said Larson. "I wanted to do something to give back and I found the Pantene Beautiful Length's program, which was perfect because it deals specifically with women like my mom who have cancer."

One of the most disheartening things for women who have cancer is when their hair begins to fall out due to chemotherapy or radiation treatments. One issue is that wigs, especially ones made of real human hair, can be extremely expensive. The Beautiful Locks program is a partnership between the Pantene and the American Cancer Society that provides wigs free of charge to women who cannot afford them.

"It had always been on my bucket list to donate my hair at some point in my life," said Larson. "When my mom got sick it became an even higher priority. Luckily my mom was able to afford a wig, but so many women can't. Hopefully my hair will help make someone who is less fortunate feel a little better during a tough time. This donation is really a thank you to all those who give back."

More information on the Pantene Beautiful Length's program can be found by clicking here. Fans can also help by bidding on the RedHawks' pink jerseys that they wore the past three home games. All 12 player jerseys, along with a pair of alternate jerseys (#21 and #23) are available to bid on through Tuesday (Feb. 26) at 5 p.m.

The auction features a three-minute rolling deadline, which means it will conclude once no bids have been placed for three consecutive minutes after the deadline has been reached.

Bidding takes place on the Miami athletic website's auction page, which can be found by clicking here.