A 9-year-old girl has been allowed back to school, after she was suspended for shaving her head in solidarity with her friend who had lost her hair to cancer treatment.
Kamryn Renfro, from the US of Colorado, told a US TV that she decided to shave her hair off because her 11-year-old friend Delaney Clements had lost hers after receiving chemotherapy to treat her neuroblastoma.
The disease is most common in infants under 1 years old, and is very rare in children over the age of 10. The unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy, include hair-loss, as well as nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite, according the American Cancer Society.
Kamryn told TODAY that “[shaving her head] felt like the right thing to do.”
"I felt very good inside,“ Delaney explained.
“People would call me a boy sometimes. They would give me dirty looks and stare at me all the time.
"I was so happy that I would have somebody there for me and she was there for me the whole step of the way and everything."
Following the change, Kamryn's mother promptly alerted her school.
But they told the girl not to return to campus until her hair grew back, as the new style went against Caprock Academy’s dress code.
"I felt bad for her, because she was excited to go to school and show everybody what she did," Delaney said.
After the girl’s mother, Jamie Renfro,launched a social media campaign to raise attention to her daughter’s situation, Caprock Academy’s school board voted on Tuesday, and ruled in favour of letting Kamryn return.
Bill Newcomer, a board member who voted against the measure, told NBC News: “I believe we as a country have succumbed to making decisions based on emotion, as opposed to logic and critical thinking."
Delaney’s mother Wendy Campbell, who was touched by Kamryn's decision, said: "I was kind of taken aback that at such a young age she wanted to do something so bold."
She added that she hopes the incident will raise awareness about the ordeals faced by children with cancer and just how much a friend’s support can mean.
"So many people don’t realize what these kids go through when they’re in the hospital, pretty much bedridden and nobody’s there with them except for their mums or dads, very little contact with a bunch of other people,” she said.
“So when you actually have a friend who takes an amazing step in life and shaves off all their hair — Delaney has been just so excited."
"Proud is an understatement,” said Jamie Renfro. "We are so proud of her and Delaney both. They are amazing."