For most eight-year-olds, the biggest stress in their lives is usually homework.
The last thing most kids that age would ever imagine dealing with is a medical condition that destroys both their self-confidence and hair.
However, sometimes hair loss is caused by a rare immune disorder, alopecia areata. When it strikes, your body attacks healthy hair follicles. This results in baldness, either in spots or even worse, across the entire head and body.
Every case of alopecia is different. In some cases, the hair can grow back and fallout over and over again. In other cases, it may grow back for good or stay gone. Unfortunately, it can afflict children at a very young age.
Eight-year-old Luke Nelson from Edmond, Oklahoma was a happy, healthy, and vibrant young man. But one day his mom noticed something.
A small patch of her son’s hair fell out of his eyebrow, and within eight weeks Luke had lost all of the hair on one side of his head.
“By Christmastime, he had completely lost all of his hair.”
Luke’s mother Susan badly wanted to do anything she could to make her soon feel better, so she shaved his head.
And in the act of solidarity, his little brother Sam also had his head shaved in support of his big brother.
“He immediately shaved his head. Then my husband shaved his head. So we made it a family affair.”
Poor Luke started wearing a baseball cap to hide his affliction. His mother, Susan, admitted that Luke felt embarrassed.
“For a little 8-year-old boy to lose his hair, of course, it was hard and it was very difficult.”
On winter break, his classmates visited Luke with a plan to show their support. And when they all returned from break, they talked to Susan to see what they could do to help Luke.
“They really asked the questions like what could we do to really help Luke and make him happy. Once [Luke] found out that all of his buddies wanted to surround him like a band of brothers and shave their heads as well, he just embraced it.”
The boys in Lukes class and their parents decided to go to Sports Clips Haircuts to have their heads shaved in support of Luke.
“This is what friends are for. Beyond thankful for these boys (and their parents!) who decided to go bald with Luke. I mean c’mon does it get any better than this?!”
And to make it a party, someone even brought donuts!
This display of support really touched the hearts of Luke and his family, who described the experience as “life-changing.”
“There was belly laughter, and kids were giving each other high fives. As soon as the haircuts started Luke ripped off his hat and he has walked around with this confidence and this swagger.”
This tender moment also gave them the opportunity to explain alopecia to everyone.
“It made me feel very good. I feel more confident. I can just be myself. I think it’s important to share my story to help all those other kids that feel different.”
Hear more about Luke’s heartwarming story in this video.