"I would tell him, 'I love your hair' and he’d say, 'Coming soon to a head near you!'"
When Melanie Shaha lost her hair due to a benign brain tumor her son came up with a novel solution.
It all started in 2003 when Shaha began experiencing headaches. Doctors eventually found she had a brain tumor the size of a plum. The location of the growth affected the pituitary gland, which regulates hormones related to metabolism, stress and growth.
The Arizona mom, who is a parent to six children, told TODAY: "I had surgery to remove the tumor and I had a really great outcome."
However, the growth reappeared just a handful of years later leading to a second surgery. Then in 2017 it came back again, which lead to her undergoing radiation.
"I asked (my doctor), 'Will I lose my hair?' and they said 'No,'" she said. But, "Three months later, I had a big shed and started losing hair. I was surprised."
"Not having hair, you stick out like a sore thumb and well-meaning people can say things that break your heart," Shaha explained. "I don't mind being sick but I mind looking sick. I'd rather blend in and not stand out at the store."
Then came her son Matt's brilliant solution.
"I said, 'Why don't I grow out my hair to make a wig for you?'" he recalled of a lunch with his mom in 2018.