South Carolina mom losing hair from chemo allows daughter to give her pink mohawk

(Photo courtesy Sarah Kelleher via ABC News)

Sarah Kelleher said she wasn’t shocked to find out her mom, Janet Sheppard Kelleher, who’s battling breast cancer, asked her to come over and help her with a funky pink Mohawk before she lost her hair to chemotherapy.

“Mom loves to laugh and she likes to make people laugh,” Kelleher of Columbia, South Carolina told ABC News. “It makes me feel really hopeful. It inspires me to keep positive about anything going on in my life. I don’t have cancer and look at my mom. She’s still happy. She’s still having fun.”

Kelleher said her mother's positive attitude inspires her. (Photo courtesy Sarah Kelleher via ABC News)
Kelleher said her mother’s positive attitude inspires her. (Photo courtesy Sarah Kelleher via ABC News)

Kelleher, 33, said her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in May. She had been in remission since 2000.

“She had her first chemotherapy treatment on June 18, and she’s having her next one tomorrow, on her birthday,” Kelleher. In total she’ll have six treatments and they’re all three weeks apart.”


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Janet, who turns 62 on July 10, said it was her own idea to have her daughter give her a new hairdo — something she had done the first time she went through losing her hair to chemo.

“Last time I had cancer, I had my hair braided with little beads on them,” she said. “Sarah came over and I had her cut the braids at the root and sent them to my friends and family to have them pray for me. Then I said, ‘What am I going to do this time?'”

Kelleher said the look her mom chose this time was a wild, pink Mohawk. Janet said her new look has really grown on her.

Sarah Kelleher cut her mother's hair into a pink mohawk. (Photo courtesy Sarah Kelleher via ABC News)
Sarah Kelleher cut her mother’s hair into a pink mohawk. (Photo courtesy Sarah Kelleher via ABC News)

“She did a totally awesome job,” she said.

As for her upcoming treatments, which will include a double mastectomy, Janet said she only has positive thoughts.

“I don’t think fear is in my vocabulary,” she said. “There’s a certain dread that goes along with having to do chemo and to have extensive surgery because I will have a double mastectomy this time, but you take it one day at a time.

“If you have good support from your friends and family and a good outlook, that gets you through the times. I’ve beat it before. I feel very confident I will do it again.”

Janet said for her next look, she hopes to have a wig made out of her other daughter Julia’s hair, which she selflessly shaved and donated to mom.

ABC News contributed to this report.

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