Boys Shave Their Heads In Solidarity With Young Friend | News
BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA) -- Never underestimate the power of friendship. When a local elementary school student was diagnosed this summer with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, he got by with a little help from his friends.
Ten-year-old Brandon Carboni is a 5th grader at Bethesda Elementary School. Non-Hodgkins lymphoma took away his hair, but not his friends.
"He's just a happy-go-lucky kind of kid. He's just everyone's best friend," said Melissa Wade, Brandon's Mom.
Days before the start of this school year, Brandon was getting increasingly nervous. One of his biggest concerns-how he would feel on that first day of school, with no hair.
"People would make fun of me or they would laugh at me," said Brandon. "I felt like I don't want to do this anymore. Probably want to be home-schooled for awhile."
A baseball coach dreamed up an idea. What if a couple of Brandon's friends did something drastic to look like him?
So, one by one, Brandon's friends shaved their heads... 13 boys in all. He would no longer stand out that first day of school.
"I felt happy that people would do that for me," said Brandon.
"It was probably the most emotional day of my life," said Steve Carboni, Brandon's Dad. "It was a tough day, in a very positive way."
Off came the hair, on came the smiles. Baldness, overshadowed by belly laughter.
"It was a party. It was out of control in the barber shop. Really it was," said Steve.
"I wasn't sure at ten years old, they really get it. And the kids did," said Melissa.
Today, Brandon is back in school and still surrounded by his fuzzy headed friends.
"I think we learned how important they are. And how they can cheer you up when things are kind of tough," said Melissa.
He's endured four surgeries and two rounds of chemotherapy. And his prognosis is excellent.
"I don't know how to describe it. It's just one of those things that your life changes from that moment on," said Melissa.
"I felt grateful and I just felt so happy that they did that," said Brandon.
Hair, he learned, may come and go. But friends... they last forever.
Written by Andrea McCarren
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