Mom of six, Melanie Shaha, was going through life as usual when she began experiencing constant dull headaches.
Following visits to the doctors, she was told her symptoms showed that she had a brain tumor in her pituitary gland.
Doctors told Melanie that the size of her tumor was comparable to a plum. The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain where it regulates hormones that are related to metabolism, stress, and growth.
Melanie had surgery in 2003, and the outcome was successful. But three years later, Melanie’s tumor returned.
She had surgery for a second time, which was also successful. But, in 2017, the brain tumor reappeared yet again in the same area.
Instead of a third surgery, Melanie’s doctors told her that she would need to undergo radiation. Melanie recalled asking the doctor if all her hair would fall off, and the doctor assured her that it wouldn’t.
But this would not be the case. A few months into her radiation treatment, Melanie’s hair started falling out quickly. This affected her self-esteem negatively.
She said that not having hair made her feel unable to blend in with people because of the endless questions, even though they were well-meaning.
Melanie also reflected that she didn’t mind looking sick, but having no hair and being unable to blend in with other people while out in public was too much.
A year into Melanie’s radiation treatment, she was enjoying lunch with her family. Her 27-year-old son, Matt, decided to make a joke. “I said, ‘Why don’t I grow out my hair to make a wig for you?'” Matt remembered.
Melanie didn’t want her son to grow his hair for her. She just wanted him to enjoy growing out his hair for himself after recently graduating from a university that had strict rules on men’s hair length.
But Matt remained quietly resolute to grow out his hair for his mother. Out of Melanie’s six children, Matt’s hair was closest in color and texture to his mother’s.
For two and a half years, Matt grew out his hair, and once it was 12 inches long, it was long enough to be cut off and turned into a wig.
Veronica said that Matt’s decision to cut off his hair and donate it to his mother made her job feel even more special.
Melanie went to the salon to have the wig professionally cut and styled to suit her personal style even better. “Matt said it looks great on me,” she said.
Matt’s gift gave Melanie the confidence to live a fuller life, a truly special gift that Melanie felt filled her emotional cup.
Matt’s gift to his mother is a reminder to everyone that anything done for your loved one with selflessness and compassion can be transformative. Have you ever had anyone do something selfless and unexpected before? How did it make you feel?
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