Rene Ray De La Cruz Staff Writer @DP_ReneDeLaCruz
VICTORVILLE A young cancer fighter recently braved the salon chair as she had a portion of her long, dark-blond hair cut for chemo patients.
Sitting inside Bella Mia salon in Hesperia on Tuesday, 16-year-old Paije Grissom held up her freshly-cut braided ponytail as she laughed and exclaimed, I didnt know I had that much hair.
Diagnosed six years ago with a rare form of malignant chordoma cancer, Grissom is a smiling, outgoing teenager from Victorville who told the Daily Press she wants to donate her long, luscious hair while she still can.
Ive been through a lot of cancer treatments, but I still have my hair, Grissom said. I figured Id donate my hair to someone who lost their hair to chemo or radiation.
Grissom, whose life has been filled with radiation treatments, surgeries and chronic infections, has suffered partial hearing loss in her right ear, is starting to lose sight in both her eyes and deals with chronic fatigue and several other ailments, which prevents her from attending classes at Victor Valley High School.
Grissom, who lives with her grandmother, Monette Holmes, said her best friend, Nadia Castillo, 12, has been one of the few brights spots in her life.
Nadia is the one person who can make me laugh and smile at any time, Grissom said. We spend a lot of time together and shes the one that lifts my spirit and calms me down.
Castillo told the Daily Press she and Grissom are attached as best friends and they enjoy sleep-overs, eating barbecue, exploring Hesperia Lake Park and listening to hip-hop, rap and country music.
We have a lot in common and we love being together, Castillo said. I really do hope and pray that Paije gets better.
Castillo accompanied Grissom to Bella Mia where she also had her hair cut and donated to cancer patients, said Holmes, who praised the hair salon for their “big hearts” and charity work.
Grissom said she looks forward to attending another Camp Ronald McDonald For Good Times this summer where she plans to meet new friends, play games, eat good food and talk to people who understand what Im going through.
As Grissom and Castillo took selfies and giggled, Holmessaid shes concerned about her granddaughters lack of cortisol, which helps control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation and assist with memory formulation.
Her pituitary glands arent functioning correctly, she has chronic migraines and she suffers from outbursts because of her hormone imbalance, Holmes said. Shes dealing with so much, its hard to keep up with everything.
Paije is such a trooper and does not complain about all of the IV’s, blood work, or any other testing that the doctor’s order, said Holmes, after returning from an infusion center at Loma Linda to see if her granddaughter will need hormone replacement therapy.
We are not certain how many days a week that Paije will need treatments, but some people here come every single day for up to eight hours, Holmes said. We will know soon if Paije will be a part of this necessary treatment regimen.
Holmes said her granddaughter wants to go to Universal Studios in Hollywood and stay at the haunted Roosevelt Hotel, but medical expenses, vehicle repairs and a cut in income have taken a toll on the family.
I know that I have a long road ahead of me, but I just want to enjoy my life right now, Grissom said. I just hope I can help others while Im dealing with being sick.
For more information on Paije Grissom’s journey, visit http://www.youcaring.com/paije-grissom-609361.
Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa [email protected] or on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.
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Generous donation: 16-year-old offers her hair to fellow cancer fighters – VVdailypress.com
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