A Calgary girl who lost her mother to cancer wept as she shed her cherished long blond hair in a show of solidarity with her teen brother — who's now also battling the disease.
Nine-year-old Sofia Smith was four when her mother, Tatiana, died of cancer.
Now cancer is touching the Smith family again. Sofia's 14-year-old brother Rand was diagnosed with lymphoma earlier this year.
"When I heard Rand, that he had cancer, I didn't really like the sound. So I thought, well, is there something I can do?" Sofia said.
That something was a huge thing for Sofia — give up the gorgeous blond locks it took her whole life to grow.
On Friday, she and roughly 70 other students at Elboya School shaved their heads to raise funds for Kids Cancer Care.
Comforted by her father Dallas, Sofia wept while her long hair fell to the floor. But she said she was determined to make the gesture.
"It makes me feel good, because I'm doing it for someone I really love," she said.
Since February, Sofia has raised more than $20,000 for the charity, whose volunteers have helped the Smiths maintain some normalcy in their lives — with deliveries of home-cooked meals and even some fun.
"Kids Cancer Care has been very good to us, and we are so grateful for the support," said Dallas, the single dad who divides his time between caring for Rand at the hospital, running the household and working full-time.
"It's exhausting, to tell you the truth," he said.
Rand is undergoing chemotherapy and his prognosis is good, but he and his family still face a long battle, according to the charity.
Rand described the whole event as mind-blowing.
"I just can't believe she's doing it," he said.
His advice for his now-bald sister? "You might want to wear something on your head, because it gets a little cold."