When a little girl lost her mother to cancer, her life was thrown out of balance. Nine-year-old Isabelle Pieri had to mature very quickly when her mother was lost to cancer. It’s a very hard thing for a young child to deal with, let alone comprehend and try to make sense of. It’s just one of those things that never really makes sense, no matter how hard you think about it and try to slice it.

Although everyone around Isabelle was sympathetic, no everyone reached out to help. The little girl had to become very independent as a result of her mother’s death. She had to become her own best advocate and stand up for herself whenever she could. The little girl was thrust into the fire at a much younger age than most people.

Fortunately, a few unlikely members of the community stepped up to help Isabelle when they noticed she needed it. They didn’t wait for her to ask for it; they just stepped up and did what they knew was right.

Although Isabelle had her dad, she still had to do a lot more on her own than she ever had to do when her mother was around. It was a devastating blow to the entire family, but especially to the little girl who loved her mother more than anyone.

While Isabelle figured out many of the tasks that she had to do every day, brushing her hair remained one job that she just couldn’t get a grasp on. And it was one thing that her father was helplessly clueless about. No matter how hard Isabelle tried, she could not brush her hair, as well as her mother, could. It made her feel very sad, and every time she looked into the mirror, she thought about her mother and how much she meant to her in her life.

Isabelle’s father didn’t know what to do. He tried to help, but months went by with the little girl having messy hair every day. That’s when the father had the “brilliant” idea to cut off all her beautiful hair. Maybe he was grieving. Maybe he was desperate. But he chopped off the little girl’s flowing locks and sent her to school looking like a boy. Isabelle was horrified by what her father did to her. It was traumatizing. Why had he given his daughter a crew cut? Was he still in mourning and blinded by his foolish actions?

Isabelle grew her hair out again, and when it got longer, she knew that she couldn’t trust her father to help her deal with it. That’s when Isabelle sought the help of someone else in the community. She had previously noticed the school bus driver, Tracy Dean, styling another girl’s hair. That’s when Isabelle asked Dean if she could help do hers.

Dean immediately accepted the commission. For about ten minutes one day, Dean brushed and braided Isabelle’s hair. It was perfect.

Then Tracy stared to cry and revealed that she had been diagnosed with cancer just like Isabelle’s mom. Now Dean knew that she not only survived for her children but for girls like Isabelle, too.

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