A 17-year-old Georgia teen battling cancer for a second time decided to take a stand against the disease by shaving her head before chemotherapy caused her hair to fall out.
I wasn’t going to let cancer have control over me . I was gonna choose when I lost my hair. That day was today. pic.twitter.com/4DC069UAAn
— Mckenzi Middlebrooks (@mckenzi426) April 16, 2017
McKenzi Middlebrooks, who was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 14, learned around Christmas that not only had her cancer returned after two years in remission, but that she would also be battling neuroblastoma this time as well, ABC News reported.
“I had a perspective where cancer and chemo kind of control your life,” Middlebrooks, who will undergo five chemotherapy treatments every 21 days, told ABC News. “I wanted to take control and basically say chemo and cancer can’t decide when I lose my hair. I want to. At least that was one thing I could have control over.”
On April 15, Middlebrooks posted a video of her father shaving her head on her Twitter page. The clip, in which she silently cries as her locks fall, has received more than 73,450 likes and nearly 27,000 retweets. On the McKenzis Fight Facebook page, it has racked up more than 1 million views.
Accompanying her video on Facebook Middlebrooks further explained her decision.
“So yesterday I shaved off my hair and as you can tell I was so emotional,” she wrote. “And a lot of people wonder and ask, ‘why don’t you just wait till it falls out?!’ And my answer is I always shave my head before chemo gets a chance to. I don’t want cancer having so much control that I can’t even decide when I lose my hair. So yesterday I went ahead and shaved it all off.”
Many of the commenters who responded to the McKenzis Fight Facebook post shared their own experiences with chemotherapy and some posted pictures.
“Her video is not only giving somebody else the courage to take control of their situation, but it’s bringing awareness to child cancer, and especially that children can get ovarian cancer,” her mother, Janice Middlebrooks, told ABC News.
A post on the page Friday informed supporters that Middlebrooks had started her fifth round of chemotherapy and would get the next 14 days off.