Connor was enjoying his 8th grade year when, in October 2015 he noticed a lump in between his ear and cheek. Having had no other symptoms, we were shocked when we received the call with the diagnosis of Non-hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We were told he had two kinds of cancer, Diffuse Large B cell and Follicular, both of which were rare in children.
After weeks of testing and waiting, it was decided that it was only Follicular, for which we were extremely grateful. Connor’s doctor was upfront with him and explained the two different treatment options. He was hopeful and full of courage, as he chose the more aggressive treatment, saying he wanted to hit it hard and be sure it was gone even though he knew it would be harder on him.
By the time Connor’s hair started falling out, his spirits were already low. Even though we knew it was likely to happen, when it actually did, we didn’t know how to comfort him and have him believe that nothing had changed and he was just as handsome as ever! It was hard to reach him. When asked about how he felt during that time (besides saying he didn’t want to talk about it!) he said “It hurt to know that my hair was being taken from me and there was nothing I could do about it. I was worried about how I would look bald in front of all my friends. When I looked in the mirror, it all of a sudden hit me, that the chemo was killing things in my body, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was sick and there was no guarantee whether I would get my normal life back or not.”
Learning about the Bald Beauties Project® soon after going bald, quickly started the ball rolling for building his self-esteem back up. Even boys need that boost! We had a wonderful time with Ellen during our photo shoot. Connor had planned to keep his hat on but ended up not even wearing it for a single picture. We really enjoyed being together out in the open and Ellen captured the pure joy we felt, especially in all of Connor’s smiles. We will treasure these pictures forever! Thank you so much to Kelsey and the Bald Beauties Project® for helping Connor through this journey. He is now in remission and owning his new look for as long as it will last!