When the Utah mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last summer, her oncologist suggested involving her kids in her diagnosis however she could. For her, that meant letting her hairstyle-loving daughter take the scissors and style her in her own unique way.

By Maressa Brown
December 03, 2019
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If your little one is of a certain, independence-asserting age, you know they want to take charge in just about any and every situation you can imagine. A Utah mom named Emilie Orton recently demonstrated how a parent can support their child's curiosity while facing one of the greatest challenges a human can: battling cancer.

When Orton was diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer last summer, and she was about to start chemo, her oncologist told her that the experience would affect her three kids, as well. "Right before I started chemo, my doctor said, ‘remember this is emotional for your kids too. You’re not the only one going through it,’” the 32-year-old told TODAY Parents. “He suggested I find a way to involve them.”

As hair began to fall out, Orton decided to enlist her 4-year-old daughter Norah to help her tackle the situation. "Norah is so into hair stuff. She’ll notice details like someone’s glittery eye shadow," Orton explained to TODAY. "She doesn’t get it from me."

In a video that quickly went viral on Instagram and YouTube, the proud mom documented getting a haircut from her daughter. "After I started losing my hair from chemo, I told Shug she could cut my hair however she wanted," Orton wrote alongside the post. "And she was in heaven and did a fantastic 4-year-old job. My most favorite and scariest hairstylist I’ve ever had."

The clip is as humorous as it is heartbreaking, with Orton making funny remarks like, "I’m kind of scared for my ear’s life" and selling Norah's styling services as the best around.

Instagram followers praised the mother-daughter pair and shared similar stories on the post. One commenter wrote, "Teared me up! I had my hair cut two years ago. we held a hair-cutting party. my husband shaved his head leaving a mohawk, my daughter (2 years old at a time) got a trim, and had half of my head shaved. My sister-in-law and a friend, trimmed their long pony tails to donate for wigs."

Another noted, "I smiled then cried during this video. When I was 10 (I'm now 52), my mother underwent chemo, and one day when her hair started falling out, we sat at the kitchen table, and I brushed all her hair out and into the kitchen trashcan slowly, lovingly, and methodically. You are a wonderful and brave mother for sharing this with your daughter."

Clearly, Orton's positive, proactive approach to her fight is nothing short of inspiring.

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