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September 03, 2018

Teen girl battling brain cancer was told that turquoise wig breaks school dress code

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Kate Pepper, 17, is battling cancer for the second time, and her hair began to fall out as it did back in 2014.

To add insult to injury, her school banned Pepper from wearing the turquoise wig that helped boost her confidence.

When Kate found out her tumor had resurfaced, she was shocked. The teenager said:

“I was feeling bad, but I wasn’t expecting it to be brain cancer again.”

THE TOUGH PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER

Nevertheless, Kate went forward with the required radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

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Soon, her hair began to fall out, and the high school senior eventually had to shave off her braids. She shared on YouTube:

“Losing your hair is always the tough part about having cancer, but at the end of the day, I know I can make it through and that my hair will grow back.”

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SOMETIMES A WIG MEANS SO MUCH MORE

Kate explained that even though it might not be considered essential, losing her hair was a sad reminder that she was going through brain cancer again.

She went wig-shopping with her mother, Tyliece Pepper, and eventually found something that made her feel good.

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Kate recalled the experience:

“When my mother and I started looking for a wig I honestly thought that none of them looked good on me, and I would just look ugly until my hair grew back. After a few days of us looking I was able to hide my baldness and show my strength with a two tone turquoise and black wig that symbolizes confidence, integrity and power, to help me weather through the storm.”

Kate’s positivity took a hit when McKinney ISD authorities banned her from wearing the wig, claiming it was against the school’s dress code.

The teenager appealed to her school board that she is "empowered by wearing [the] wig" and explained that the color gives her an "abundance of strength" to cope with the hair loss. 

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SUPPORT FROM ACROSS THE WORLD

Her case has since gone viral, with social media users condemning the school for their insensitivity.

The lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, also weighed in on the matter, tweeting:

“I support clear rules for students but I am asking McKinney ISD to create an exception to their dress code and allow Kate Pepper to wear her beautiful wig.”

All that attention has paid off. The school board reversed its decision, announcing in an official statement that McKinney ISD would "grant an exception to its dress code policy." 

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Going forward, they will allow "the student to wear a colored wig." Speaking to CBSDFW after the reversal, Kate expressed her relief:

“I feel a relief, and I’m honestly hoping that if there’s anyone else going through my circumstances, that this will help them along the way as well.”

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Here’s wishing Kate all the best in her fight with cancer!

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