December 9, 2010 - Beverly HIlls -
Fifteen year old Monica said she was never going to school again. She also refused to hang out with friends, speak to her family and remained in her room for almost twenty-four hours per day. In desperation, her mother turned to Maria Ruiz, BHI employee, for whom she babyits and begged her to speak to her daughter. Monica's mother wanted Maria to tell Monica how school was far more important than her hair.
"When I first met Monica I was shocked to see how depressed she had become about her hair loss," said BHI employee Maria Ruiz. "I instantly wanted to find a way to help her."
Monica began losing her hair at the age of seven. During her early teens steroid treatment given to her by doctors resulted in some new hair growth, but not enough to cover her entire head. As she progressed into her teen years, the children at school began to tease her about her baldness and make fun of her. Her family could not afford a wig that looked natural and Monica refused to wear anything that looked fake because it only resulted in more teasing at school. The cost of a natural looking wig with real hair is between $3000. to $5000. Far more than the family could afford
Maria went to her job the following Monday, where she is a nurse at The Beverly Hills Institute of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery and works with plastic surgeons Dr. Richard Fleming and Dr. Toby Mayer. Drs. Fleming and Mayer are world-renowned hair restoration surgeons and Maria told them about Monica during their staff meeting. Another staff member, Veronica Horta, revealed she had a background in hair extensions and making wigs for the stars in a previous job and now occasionally makes wigs for charity. Veronica noted that Maria's hair was long enough to use as a wig for Monica. She explained that the base cost for a wig made from human hair is around $2000, but if Maria donated her hair, Veronica could make the wig and it would not cost the family any money at all. Although maria had never cut her hair (only trimmng it), she offered to cut it immediately so that Veronica could get to work on the wig in time for Monica's 15th birthday.
Just last month Monica celebrated her Quinceanera looking beautiful with a wig that looks so natural that nobody knew she was wearing one. She has since gone back to school and is doing very well. Her confidence level has soared. She is hanging out with friends, chatting on Facebook and acting like any other fifteen year old girl.
The doctors offered their support to raise money in their practice to help with the purchase of a second wig so Monica can alternate between the two wigs. Those wishing to donate towards this cause can do so by sending a check payable to Monica Hinojoza, c/o Maria Ruiz at BHI, 416 N. Bedford Drive, Suite 200, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.