Mother shaves head to support 8-year-old daughter battling cancer: ‘We do this as a family’

Mother shaves head to support 8-year-old daughter battling cancer: ‘We do this as a family’
Naomi's mother, Melissa, shaved her head, too, as a show of support as the 8-year-old Butler County girl battles a rare form of stage 4 brain cancer. (Source: Provided by the Short family)

HAMILTON, Ohio (FOX19) - The phrase “A mother’s love is like no other” is especially true for an 8-year-old Cincinnati-area girl battling a rare form of stage 4 brain cancer.

Naomi Short of Hamilton is undergoing chemotherapy for Pineoblastoma, a series of tumors in her brain and spinal cord.

Her mother has said doctors estimate the survival rate for her type of brain cancer about 30 percent.

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Naomi’s hair has fallen out from chemotherapy to the point where it was time to shave the rest off.

Her mother, Melissa Short, shaved hers off, too, as a way to help her young daughter cope.

It’s been a tough week for Naomi and the family.

The third grader at Crawford Woods Elementary School has been losing her balance and sleeping more. Her right eye also began moving around on its own, so her parents took her to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

She underwent surgery and is now recovering from that as well as continuing to battle cancer.

“Her brain swelled back up,” her father, Gary Short, said from the hospital Thursday. “She is so heartbroken. She was supposed to go to Columbus tonight. WWE invited her personally to attend the show with front row seats. She was going to meet them all. She is in pain but she seems to be better. You can tell they got all that pressure off her brain. Poor thing can’t catch a break."

Naomi was released from the hospital Saturday morning.

Her parents now plan to take her to another WWE show in April.

The official Instagram account for NXT Superstars posted a video of the crowd at Thursday night’s show in Columbus chanting her name as a show of support.

Naomi’s community has been rallying around her and her family, buoying their spirits. She received thousands of Valentine’s Day cards.

A Go Fund Me account “#NaomiStrong 8-year-old brain cancer warrior” has been established to help Naomi’s parents as they struggle to deal with their daughter’s devastating illness and mounting medical costs.

So far, $28,849 has been raised toward the $75,000 goal.

Naomi also was sworn in as an honorary Butler County deputy sheriff and surprised with an encounter with a unicorn and was taken to a “Princess Ball."

Most recently, she collected thousands of toys for other sick kids at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Dozens of boxes arrived at her house each day.

The sheriff’s office got in on the toy drive, delivering dozens of toys to her. The American Legion and the Hamilton Fire Department also donated.

Naomi and her family delivered the toys to the hospital last month.

MORE | Naomi Short, 8-year-old with brain cancer, delivers toys to other sick kids at Cincy Children’s | 8-year-old Hamilton girl battling brain cancer surprised with unicorn encounter, taken to princess ball

Through a grant from Make-A-Wish Foundation, Naomi and her family will enjoy an upcoming trip to Disney World, her father said.

The only thing left on her “bucket list” is go to L.A., watch a taping of the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and meet the talk show host and comedian. Naomi likes to watch all the games, prizes and surprises Ellen gives out - and all the dancing.

She also hopes to have her picture taken in front of the Hollywood sign, according to the Facebook page Naomi’s Fight: Naomi Strong.

Fundraisers will be held soon to help toward that trip, including one March 12 at her school from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., her father said.

“I don’t know where we would be without everyone reaching out with all of this love and support. It’s been so amazing.”

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