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Teen Declared Cancer-Free Aims To Help Others

MIAMI (CBS4) - Two words that don't seem to go together are children and cancer,  but sadly each year cancer affects about 13 thousand children in the United States.

A South Florida teen is now working with Miami Children's Hospital on a new campaign called Bald, Brave, Beautiful - to help other children diagnosed with cancer.

Caroline Pallidine was only 13-years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia.  She says since she always had hair down to her waist, one of the hardest things was losing her hair.

Today, more than a year later, Caroline is happy to report she's cancer free, and her hair is starting to grow back.  But she remembers what it was like not having hair due to the treatments.

She always wore a wig until she met the singer Pitbull.  Since he is bald, he gave her the courage to take off her own wig.

Then she went to a camp for cancer survivors.

"They made me realize everyone went through it and I shouldn't be ashamed of it," said Caroline.

That was the last time Caroline wore her wig.

Now she's helping Miami Children's Hospital spread the word about the Bald, Brave, Beautiful campaign.  It's an effort to eliminate the stigma and bullying that coincide with baldness.

Doug Carillo, the father of two-year old Maya who is a cancer survivor, says it's a great campaign.

"This mission shows them it doesn't matter what's on the exterior," said Carillo. "It's on the interior that counts.  And that you are still a beautiful person."

Maya's mother says even though her little girl was so young, she was aware that she was losing her hair.  She would look at her mother Erika, and her dolls, and want hair.

Recently Caroline and Maya walked the runway for the Hugs and Kisses Fashion Show to benefit Miami Children's Hospital.

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