BRANDON, Fla. – For two years, a 10-year-old Georgia boy ignored the bullies while growing his hair out – all to help a family friend who had lost her own, according to WFTS-TV.
Gabby Ruiz, 12, was diagnosed with alopecia-areata, a hair loss disorder, at the age of 4.
So, with his locks falling to his shoulders, Tyler Boone met Ruiz last week at the JCPenney store at Westfield Brandon Mall in Florida, where she lives, for a photo shoot of the big haircut.
WFTS said the two have shared a friendship hundreds of miles apart after meeting years ago.
Although she has gone through different types of treatments, she’s been unable to grow her hair, so Tyler decided he wanted to make her a wig.
“He said ‘Well, it’s just hair. I can grow hair,'” Tyler’s mom, Denise Boone, told ABC News.
Tyler has been growing his hair so long, he’s been mistaken for a girl too many times to count.
“I’m used to it now,” he said.
But, with a smile on his face, the 10-year-old spoke about how he met Gabby, adding “I just want to make her happy.”
For nearly an hour, the two giggled and laughed during the photo shoot.
They took pictures with a tape measure, showing Tyler’s hair at 12 inches, then captured the moments as Gabby personally cut his hair.
The hair will be donated to a nonprofit, Children with Hair Loss, to make a wig just for Gabby.
Following the photo shoot, the two walked over to the salon inside the mall, where Tyler got treated to a new hairstyle of his choice.
Gabby watched Tyler the entire time and, after 45 minutes, he emerged sporting a buzz-cut and a big smile.