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Treasure Coast teens shave heads to support friend's mother battling breast cancer

'Through this journey, so far something that I thought was a curse is actually turning into a kind of a blessing,' Tamika Dawes says
Teens shave their heads in solidarity with a friend's mother battling cancer.
Posted at 5:41 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-17 20:17:53-04

A group of teens on the Treasure Coast are sporting new haircuts for a good cause.

The power of friendship is supporting one woman's battle with breast cancer.

It's the diagnosis no one wants to hear. For Tamika Dawes, it was stage one breast cancer.

"The big C," Dawes said. "Whenever you hear that, you're devastated."

Dawes said she chose to fight back with chemotherapy treatments and deal with one of the common side effects.

"Chemotherapy, I wouldn't wish it upon my worse enemy," Dawes said. "The first treatment I had was really hard."

Her family was there to support her during the hardest times, including her 15-year-old son, Aalijah Ford.

"I mean it's scary, you know," Dawes said. "You don't know what's gonna happen and you just hope and pray that everything good is gonna come out of it."

"She told me she had to cut her hair, so that really sucked to see her cry because as her son I feel obligated to protect her to help her in any way I can," Ford said.

But how do you fight a disease you can't see?

The answer for this 15-year-old was with the help of friends and a community that cares. In support, he asked his friends to shave their heads in support of her fight.

"He said if you do it, then I'll do it with you," Ford said. "Then we ended up telling Blaine and later Nick, and they all joined in with us."

Ford's best friend Blaine Damron and his other buddies, Brody Everett and Nicholas Ahelastro are going all out to support Dawes in her cancer fight.

"Aalijah is like a brother to me, and I'm always going to be there for him," Damron said. "I understand he's going through something I might be able to help out, but I knew me shaving my head with him would help him do it and in turn help her."

Going bald for breast cancer is showing one mom that she's not alone.

"It felt good in a way because if I can't help her physically, but if I can help her get through it mentally that's a win," Ford said.

Damron's mom, Kelly, was deeply moved by the gesture and helped the teens out with the haircuts. The video was posted on social media, which Ford presented to his mom on Mother's Day. It's since gone viral for the best reasons.

"There are thousands of other women and moms and husbands and dads and fathers and sisters that are commenting on that, lifting up our voice," Kelly Damron said. "In our society, there's not a lot of positive videos out there."

Dawes said in the darkness of her diagnosis she has found a powerful light in the support of her community.

"Through this journey so far something that I thought was a curse is actually turning into a kind of a blessing," Dawes said.

This all is proving that the real treasure on the Treasure Coast is maybe in its people.