Son spends years growing hair to make mom wig post-radiation


(NewsNation) — Most sons say they would do anything for their mothers. Matt Shaha put his words into action.

Matt’s mother, Melanie, has battled a benign brain tumor for almost 20 years. Five years ago, she underwent radiation treatments that caused her hair to fall out.

In response, Matt decided to grow out his hair. It took two years to grow 12 inches of hair.

And in the meantime, he researched companies where he could donate his hair to make into a wig for his mother.

“When I started the research, there were only three companies in the United States that offered that service,” Matt said while appearing Wednesday on NewsNation’s “Banfield.” “We used a company in Newport Beach, California, called Compassionate Creations, where they take donated hair and make it into a wig for you.”

While the gesture is heartwarming, Matt says it almost came up as a joke in conversation.

“It’s kind of funny how it played out. 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.”

The topic came up in a lighthearted way, but Melanie knew her kind son was serious.

“But I told him, ‘Hey if stuff comes up professionally or relationship-wise, if you need to cut your hair, it’s OK,” she said.

But Matt insisted on helping his mother no matter what and didn’t expect any praise for his generosity.

“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.”

Melanie still faces some challenging health issues but chooses to be happy and grateful for her life.

“With family members like Matt, and that kind of love and support, it’s easy to be happy,” she said.

Matt chimed in: “I’m sure there are people that are in a similar situation to my mother. Seeing what it’s been able to do to her has meant the world. I didn’t expect it to mean as much as it did until it actually happened.”

He’s encouraging anyone who has the opportunity grow their hair and donate it to do so and help others.

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