Alexa Barry, cancer patient, wishes for hair before starting school

All Alexa Barry wants before she starts school is her hair back. Photo: CNN

It's a yearly tradition, seemingly, when kids get nervous before their collective first day of school.

In suburban Sacramento, Calif., though, one young kindergartner knows something that will make her first day go a little bit more smoothly - hair.

Just before Christmas last year, 5-year-old Alexa Barry was diagnosed with leukemia. Since then, she has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy, according to News 10 in Sacramento. Because of the treatment, the young girl lost al of her hair.

"I would give her a shower and all of it would come out in clumps," Alexa's father, Jason, told News 10. "Then she said she wanted hair."

Jason then did what any dad would do - he picked up the phone and started searching for a way to get his daughter hair before she started school.

One of the places he called, a salon that specializes in natural hair pieces for cancer patients and burn victims, said they could do it. However, it'd cost the family $1,000.

That's when Kimberly Apker, an employee at the salon, and her family jumped into action.

"He was like, 'I can't do it,' then he hung up the phone," Apker said. "My niece called him back and said we (would) help you raise the money."

Kimberly, who lost both her parents to cancer, and her family have already raised several hundred dollars toward the cause.

"For me, it's to give back to another family," she said. "I know their pain and I know their suffering."

While they continue to raise money to create two custom, permanent hairpieces for Alexa, the salond has given her a temporary wig. And despite the young girl admitting that she's less than excited to be starting school, she's got a cadre of people in her corner.

"Me and my dad just slap each other's heads," Alexa said.