More Than Just A Wig

Today I get to share an incredible story about a beautiful little girl named Melody.

A few weeks back, my mom and I saw a heartbreaking video on The Big 98 of a 4-year-old girl crying because she doesn't have any hair. The girl’s mom attempted to console her by telling her how beautiful and perfect she is, but she was not convinced.

Our hearts broke for the girl and we knew we wanted to do something. We contacted The Big 98 and they put us in touch with Melody’s sweet mom, Fabiola Pimentel. She told us that Melody has Monilethrix, a rare genetic condition caused by a defect in the hair shaft resulting in hair that appears dry, dull and brittle and breaks spontaneously or with mild trauma.

“It’s not fair,” Melody said in the video. “It keeps breaking. Nobody wants to give me hair.”

Little did Melody know, Maria Filorimo wanted to “give her hair.” Maria lost her daughter, 16-year-old Taylor Filorimo, to a hard-fought battle of cancer on Sept. 5, 2012. Tay was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer called Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Maria does a remarkable job of keeping Tay’s spirit and memory alive. After seeing Meoldy’s video, she just knew that donating Tay’s wig would do just that. 

I believe in my heart that Tay was leading me to do it,” Maria said. “I am at peace and it fills my heart knowing it makes another little girl feel beautiful.
Maria Folirimo donates her daughter Taylor's wig to Melody through Melissa Schleicher's "Hair Me Downs" project. 

Maria Folirimo donates her daughter Taylor's wig to Melody through Melissa Schleicher's "Hair Me Downs" project. 

Fabiola brought Melody to Parlour 3 yesterday for a full afternoon of pampering. She was greeted with a bag full of goodies such as lipgloss, headbands and more. My mom put some makeup and glitter on her and she received a glitzy pink manicure by Parlour 3’s Jennifer Tsourvakas. She quickly won over every person in the entire building with her sweet smile and lively personality.

Melody’s entire demeanor changed as the wig was placed on her head. Her big brown eyes lit up and and her smile beamed.

“I feel so beautiful!” she said. Melody IS beautiful with and without her wig. You can get a glimpse of how great of a mother Fabiola is from the video and from her quote below.

Melody has low self esteem issues at just 4 years old,” Fabiola said. “I never wanted to resort to wigs at such a young age, but she kept comparing herself to other girls and telling me how different she looks. It’s pretty hard as her mother to hear her talk like that. It is so awesome to see Melody look in the mirror and and feel beautiful with her new wig and I can’t thank Melissa and Maria enough for what they did!

For Melody, it is more than just a wig. It is a chance for her to been for who she really is rather than her condition.

My mom and her Parlour 3 employees demonstrate kindness all the time, but I couldn’t let this story go untold. To find out how you can donate a wig or to learn more about her "Hair Me Downs" Project, contact hairmedowns@gmail.com. To find out more about the Live 4 Tay foundation that provides support and financial assistance to families who have children with cancer, visit www.live4tay.org. 

 

Photography by Cameron Premo