Luke Nelson, of Edmond, Oklahoma, is an 8 year-old boy who was so embarrassed when he started losing his hair last year due to alopecia that he barely left his house. When his third grade classmates at Oklahoma Christian School heard about what Luke was going through, they decided to make a touching move in support of him that has since gone viral.
“For a little 8-year-old boy to lose his hair, of course, it was hard and it was very difficult,” Luke’s mother Susan said. “Once he lost all of his hair he immediately put a hat on and he kind of hid behind his hat.”
Luke first started showing signs of alopecia last fall when a small patch of hair vanished from his eyebrow.
“Within a matter of eight weeks it moved to the side of his head. By Christmas time he has completely lost all of his hair,” Susan said. “When we realized we needed to shave his head because he had lost all of his hair, his little brother Sam said, ‘Well, if Luke’s not gonna have hair, I’m not gonna have hair either. He immediately shaved his head. Then my husband shaved his head. So we made it a family affair.”
When 14 of Luke’s third grade friends heard what was happening, they knew they had to do something.
“By the time we got back to school after winter break all of Luke’s buddies really wanted to do something to show their support,” Susan said. “They really asked the questions like what could we do to really help Luke and make him happy. Once [Luke] found out that all of his buddies wanted to surround him like a band of brothers and shave their heads as well he just embraced it.”
The boys and their families headed to Sports Clips Haircuts with their parents and the Nelson family on January 19 to have their heads shaved in solidarity with Luke.
“We just made it a really fun hair-shaving celebration and we had donuts! There was belly laughter, and kids were giving each other high fives. As soon as the haircuts started Luke ripped off his hat and he has walked around with this confidence and this swagger,” Susan said, adding that this gesture was “life-changing” for her son.
“It’s made him really proud,” she said. “If anything, he’s that he’s been given this gift and he can look at it as a gift or he can look at it as an obstacle. He’s chosen to look at it as a gift and to overcome it and, hair, if he has it or not, that’s not going to define who this kid is. He is a strong kid.”
“It made me feel very good,” Luke said. “I feel more confident. I can just be myself. I think it’s important to share my story to help all those other kids that feel different.”
God bless these kids for having compassion and helping Luke to know he’s worthy with or without hair!