- Mother and son duo Melanie and Matt Shaha live in Arizona.
- Melanie told “Today” that she lost her hair after undergoing radiation treatment for a brain tumor.
- Matt grew his hair out for two and a half years, then paid $2,000 to make a wig for his mother.
An Arizona mom lost her hair during radiation treatment for a brain tumor, so her son grew his hair out and turned it into a $2,000 wig.
Melanie Shaha, a mother of six, told Today’s newspaper Elise Solé that doctors discovered her benign pituitary gland brain tumor in 2003.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the pituitary gland is a small organ attached to the base of the brain that produces hormones that control “many” of the body’s functions, such as growth and fertility. About 10,000 pituitary tumors are diagnosed annually in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
Melanie had surgery to remove the tumor, which had grown to the size of a plum according to “Today,” but in 2006 she underwent a second procedure after it returned. In 2017, when the tumor returned for the third time, she received radiation treatment.
The National Cancer Institute said radiation therapy can cause hair loss in the part of the body being treated. The institute notes that hair normally grows back in 3 to 6 months, but receiving a high dose of radiation may or may not cause hair to grow back thinner.
“Having no hair, you stick out like a sore thumb and well-meaning people can say things that break your heart,” she told Today. “I don’t mind being sick, but I do mind looking sick. I’d rather blend in and not stand out in the store.”
According to “Today”, in 2018, Melanie’s 27-year-old son Matt made a joke that sparked an idea during a family lunch.
“I said, ‘Why not grow my hair out to make a wig for you?'” Matt told the channel, adding that at the time he was growing his hair out because the university he attended had strict rules about hair length. . .
Although Melanie initially didn’t want to accept her son’s offer, he persisted and grew 12 inches of hair in late March of this year, reports Today. KSAZ, a local news station in Phoenix, Arizona, reports that Matt grew his hair out over the course of two and a half years.
With the help of his co-workers, Matt cut off his long locks in March of this year, reports Today.
“We were super excited and when they started cutting, we cried,” Melanie told “Today.”
They then sent the hair to Compassionate Creations in Newport Beach, California, where it was assembled into a hand-stitched wig, “Reported Today”. KSAZ reports that the wig cost $2,000.
“The color is spectacular and we cut and styled it with a hairdresser,” Melanie told Today. “Matt said it looks great on me.”
“It’s a no-brainer,” Matt told KSAZ. “She gave me her hair first.”
The Shahas did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.