BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Before and after photos of a 10-year-old Bowie boy’s haircut have gone viral.
That’s because it produced enough hair for three wigs — thrilling news for 5th grader Thomas Moore, who saw a picture of a little girl with cancer on Facebook two years ago and decided he wanted to help.
When Thomas first saw the photo, his mom Angilea Pulos says, he thought she was a little boy and asked why “he” was bald. That led to a long discussion about cancer and chemotherapy.
“He, on his own, decided he wanted her to be happy, that he wanted to give her his hair,” Pulos says.
There were a few times when Thomas, who is very tender-headed, according to his mom, thought about quitting.
“I would have to fight with him on wash days and stuff,” she says. Eventually, they started putting it in cornrows.
“He would cry, sometimes he wanted to quit.” But then she would explain that his hair wasn’t yet long enough to donate.
After that, “he would gather himself and we would push through.”
This month, which just so happens to be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, they finally decided to chop Thomas’s locks. They cut his hair on Saturday, and school picture day was on Monday.
“My sister took a before and after picture… she put it on her Twitter page and it blew up,” Pulos says.
Her tweet has been retweeted 58,000 times, and favorited more than 100,000 times.
“She shares pictures of the kids on her Twitter all the time, but we just never thought this would go viral.”
It even reached the eyes of retired NBA player Derek Anderson, whose Stamina Foundation will host the Acts of Kindness gala on Oct. 14 in Louisville.
Thomas will be the guest of honor and will receive an award at the gala, Pulos says.
But the real “icing on the cake” for both Pulos and her son came when they were able to contact the mother of the little girl who originally inspired Thomas’s idea to grow his hair out. Sadly, Kyssi Andrews died last June. She was just 6 years old.
“Someone tagged her in his story… we were able to reach out to each other and we talked,” Pulos says. She says her son’s face lit up as they talked to her.
On the Kyssi Andrews Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Facebook page, her mother wrote: “To know that my sweet ANGEL Kyssi is still an inspiration, even in her absence from the earth makes me one PROUD mom. Her LEGACY lives.”
Pulos and Thomas both hope their story will help raise more awareness about pediatric cancer.
“There needs to be more light shed on the children side of things,” Pulos says.