A mother’s love knows no bounds, but the same can be said about their children.
When Melanie Shaha started having headaches, her doctors soon discovered the cause: A benign brain tumor of the pituitary gland. It was the size of a plum, and it was greatly affecting the part of her brain that regulates hormones related to metabolism, growth, and stress.
In 2003, Melanie underwent surgery to remove the tumor followed by a second in 2006 to complete the job. That seemed to have done the trick at first but, years later, it returned. This time around, radiation was a part of her treatment plan. Months later, she started losing her hair.
“Not having hair, you stick out like a sore thumb and well-meaning people can say things that break your heart,” Melanie said. “I don’t mind being sick but I mind looking sick. I’d rather blend in and not stand out at the store.”
Still, Melanie made the most of her situation and focused on the good in her life. Then, years later, her son Matt Shaha shared what would turn out to be the perfect plan: Donating his hair so his mom could have a wig.
“It’s kind of funny how it played out,” Matt said. “My hair was starting to get a little long after I graduated college. I went to a school where we had a kind of strict dress code. I just jokingly said, maybe I’ll draw a wig for you, and then it just clicked.”
Melanie was incredibly moved by this gesture, though she insisted that if he needed to cut his hair for any reason, professional or otherwise, that she’d understand. But Matt was determined to not allow anything to get in the way of his mom getting the perfect wig — out of all six of Melanie’s kids, Matt’s hair is the closest match to her own color and texture.
Over the course of two years, Matt diligently researched how to grow hair quickly, the best companies that turn human hair into wigs, and anything else needed to ensure that he could not only follow through on his promise but do so in the best way possible.
Meanwhile, he kept quiet about his plans for the longest time, not wanting to draw attention to himself.
“Matt kept it quiet for a long time,” Melanie said. “He didn’t acknowledge that he was growing a wig for me to everybody. When we finally got to the end and he acknowledged what he was doing at work, people made a fuss, you know.”
Finally, after two years, it was time for Matt to shed the 12 inches of hair he lovingly grew. As you might imagine, many tears of joy were shed that day!
“Seeing what it’s been able to do to her has meant the world,” Matt said. “I didn’t expect it to mean as much as it did until it actually happened.”
Now, Melanie is able to don a handstitched wig made in California by Compassionate Creations, and she couldn’t love her new look more!
“The color is spectacular and we had it cut and styled with a hairdresser,” she said. “Matt said it looks great on me.”
We couldn’t agree with Matt more! We’re so happy for Melanie and can’t imagine how proud she is to have such a caring, generous son. If you ask Matt himself, however, he’ll insist that what he did wasn’t difficult at all.
“It’s a no-brainer,” Matt said of his decision. “She gave me the hair in the first place.”
Don’t forget to share Matt’s act of love for his mom with a friend.
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