With each pass of the clippers, Christy Harris is getting closer to her goal, which is to look more like her daughter Addison.
In her five short years, Addison has been fighting several health problems. She was born with a kidney defect, which, at age 15 months, surgeons removed. She also has a heart rhythm problem. But last January, Addison's body began to attack itself, causing her hair to fall out.
"It's heartbreaking when her hair first started falling out, after all the things she's been through. My heart breaks," Christy says.
The condition is called alopecia. It happens when the immune system incapacitates the stem cells that allow hair to grow.
"The hair follicles go into a dormant phase, so they're not destroyed, but they're just dormant," said researchers Joseph Greco, who is looking for ways to wake up those sleeping cells.
But the treatments don't work in everyone. Alopecia has no cure.
Daniel is Addison's father, and he worries her.
"They have to endure the stares and the glares and asking if they are sick," he says.
And for kids, it's emotionally scarring.
"Her first day of kindergarten, she went to school and a little boy called her ‘baldy head' and hit her. To think this is her future...my child is going to go through painful ridicule," Christy said.
Daniel also remembers that day.
"It was devastating that I wasn't there to take her in my arms and hold her. So angry, but at the same time, part of what we expected," he said.
So these nine people gather in solidarity watching their locks hit the barber shop floor. Helping one little girl feel a little more like everyone else.
Christy says to Addison, who is sitting on her lap, "I'm still me huh? We just match now."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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