The best families are those that support one another through life’s toughest times without ever being asked to do so.
Up until last summer, 8-year-old Savannah Brown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania didn’t have any health concerns. Then she caught COVID-19, and her immune system couldn’t seem to recover. Mom Ruqayyah Qaiyim says her daughter was “sick all summer,” and by September, her hair had started to fall out in huge patches.
Savannah was diagnosed with alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. It’s rare for someone as young as Savannah to get the disease, but in time, it caused every last strand of the child’s hair to disappear from her head.
From the start, Ruqayyah promised her daughter that if she lost all her hair, she’d shave her hair, too — and she followed through!
Her family wasn’t done showing their support yet!
Days later, Savannah’s father, Steven Mack, picked her up from school with a surprise. In a video, he pulled off his hoodie to reveal that he had shaved his head, too!
Steven says the act was important to the family, not just to show support for Savannah and Ruqayyah, but to challenge what we think of as beautiful in our society.
“It kind of helped Savannah realize real beauty is designed by her character,” he said.
Next up, Savannah’s grandmother and aunt shaved their heads, too!
“I didn’t want her to struggle alone,” said her aunt. “I wanted to understand what she was going through.”
When the family appeared on “Good Day Philadelphia,” Savannah’s great-aunt decided to have her head shaved right there on live television.
Savannah was gobsmacked that so many of her family members chose to help her shoulder her burden in such a tangible way.
“It was just like ‘OMG,’ I have an amazing family that supports me in a really awesome way,” Savannah said on the show. “Not a lot of moms would do that and my mom is special to me. Really special.”
This family refuses to let their little girl face her disease on her own! It’s beautiful to see such a united group of loving adults supporting a child through a tough diagnosis. Well done, family!
Share this story to thank this family for going the extra mile to help Savannah adjust.
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