A gesture of love becomes an internet sensation.
When 18-year-old Deidre Sechi’s hair started falling out after her first full round of chemotherapy she knew it was time to shave it all off, but she didn’t have to lose it alone. Her boyfirend of 3-years, Riley Nicolay, who is also 18 years old, decided to shave his head too. And after posting a heartwarming picture of the two sans hair on Reddit, Nicolay also fulfilled his high school sweetheart’s dream to become famous. According to the Daily Mail,
After being diagnosed with a rare form of a sarcoma with a baseball-sized tumor in her stomach, 18-year-old Deidre joked that she would put a positive spin on her diagnosis by gaining attention by possibly appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres show or writing a popular blog about her health battle.
Instead, Riley turned an emotional picture of the two of them into an internet sensation.
The photo, which Nicolay posted on Reddit on Tuesday, gaining more than a million hits within the first 15 hours, and has been shared on numerous other social networking sites. He began to realize what a sensation the photo, and their story was becoming when Nicolay, who is a freshman at Iowa State University, began receiving texts from friends while in class about the picture beginning to show up all over the internet. When asked about their new found internet fame Nicolay said, “This made it fun so it’s not as scary or sad.”
Deidre, who was also a freshman at Iowa State but had to withdraw due to her health, will find out later this month if the chemotherapy is helping to shrink the desmoplastic small round cell tumor in her abdomen.
Both Deidre and Riley’s dads shaved their heads to show their love and support as well.