Kate Pepper thegrio.com
Kate Pepper | Screenshot

Kate Pepper, a senior at McKinney ISD outside of Dallas, TX, is now allowed to wear her blue wig to school as she battles brain cancer for the second time.

She made the tough decision to shave her hair off after chemo treatments made her hair fall out. Pepper even documented the journey 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,” she says in one video.

The Perfect Wig

After she and her mother went wig shopping, she fell in love with a blue-tinted bob wig that gave her a little boost of confidence during an otherwise difficult time. For a couple days, she happily wore the wig to school, but was then told by school administrators that her wig violated school dress code policy and she could therefore no longer wear it.

This prompted Pepper to send a letter to the school explaining why she believed she should be granted an exception.

Her letter read in part:

“I know there are rules and there are always exceptions, I’m asking for the sake of my sanity please allow this to be one. I’m empowered by wearing this wig although it’s subtle in color it gives me an abundance of strength and power to grieve the loss of my hair, and gives me the fortitude I need to fight this battle I’m facing with cancer.”

Support in High Places

Pepper’s mother shared the letter on Facebook and it went viral. It even caught the attention of Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas.

“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,” I will send a formal communication to the district tomorrow,” he tweeted over the weekend.

By Monday, the school had reversed its decision and Lt. Governor Patrick tweeted his approval.

“I am very glad to hear McKinney ISD has made an exception for Kate so she can wear her turquoise wig during treatment. Let’s keep Kate in our prayers,” he tweeted.

“I feel a relief, and I am honestly hoping that if anyone else is going through my circumstances that this will help them along the way as well,” said Pepper in an interview with CBS-DFW.