Man grows out hair to donate wig to his mom

A Gilbert man grew out his hair for two years so he could donate it for a wig for his mom, who has a tumor in her brain.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 11:28 AM CDT
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GILBERT, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5/Gray News) – Matt Shaha, 27, grew out his hair for two years to donate and make it into a wig for his mom who was undergoing radiation treatments.

Melanie Shaha was diagnosed with a benign tumor on her pituitary gland in 2003.

“Your pituitary is in the middle of your head, and it sends a signal for things to work in your body,” she told Arizona’s Family. “It’s not cancer, it’s a benign tumor, but it’s in the wrong place. And it smashes important things and can cause a lot of trouble, so you can’t let it stay.”

She underwent two surgeries to remove the tumor between 2003 and 2006, but it returned in 2017 and doctors recommended radiation treatments.

Melanie Shaha lost all her hair about three months later, including her eyebrows and eyelashes. The doctor told her the radiation killed her pituitary, so her hair would not come back.

“I don’t mind being sick, but I do mind looking sick,” she said.

Matt Shaha was home from college when he decided he would let his hair grow long enough to donate.

“I was at dinner with my parents, and someone made the comment that my hair was starting to get a little long and I jokingly said, ‘Oh maybe I’ll just keep growing it for a week for you.’ And then it clicked. And I was like, ‘Why don’t I?’” he said.

Matt Shaha’s strawberry blond locks match his mother’s hair perfectly. It grew to be a foot long before they decided to cut and send it to Compassionate Creations to form into a wig designed just for his mom.

“I was not expecting that to be as emotional as it was. It kind of started out as a fun little project between me and my mom, but as soon as the hair was long enough and we cut it, it was like, ‘This is real,’” he said.

“I barely kept it together, but it’s meant the world. It turned out so much better than I thought it would.”

His mom said she was charmed and moved by her son’s compassion.

The wig came in the mail three months later, and Melanie Shaha said she feels like herself again.

“It’s fabulous. I mean, obviously, it’s fabulous. To be such a gift of love, to feel like I look beautiful. It’s really great,” she said. “It’s a miracle, and it’s soft, and it’s beautiful, and it’s real hair, and it’s his hair.”

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