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Texas girl battling cancer takes off wig during photoshoot for national nonprofit

A bully once ripped off A'Myah Moon's wig and called her names. Now she is taking it off herself in an empowering photoshoot.
A'Myah Moon lets out a scream as she rips off her wig for the photoshoot. | Jermaine Horton (The Art of Confidence Project)

ROCKWALL, Texas (WFAA) — A'Myah Moon stood on the wood panels of a Rockwall harbor with her wig, not on her head, but in her hand. She is sending a message.

"It makes me feel like I'm loved," A'Myah said when she thinks about all of her support.

Moon had a special photo shoot Wednesday afternoon with national nonprofit The Art of Confidence Project. The Ilinois-based organization holds photo shoots around the country to help build confidence and self-esteem in the youth.

"I want to be the person that's going to make a change," said the nonprofit's founder, Jermain Horton. "I want to be the person that's going to make a difference."

A'Myah was diagnosed with a rare cancer a little more than a year ago. She has weekly visits to the doctor as well as chemotherapy sessions and regular blood transfusions.

In February, A'Myah's family and friends held a demonstration outside her school after a bully ripped her wig off and called her names.

"We were just going to the school to rally for her, be her advocate and just stand up for her," said A'Myah mom, Syreeta Smith.

A Plano church, Allen photographer and NBA player Myles Turner offered their public support for A'Myah. That got Horton's attention, who said he had more than 6,000 notifications about her story.

"This is the superstar right here," Horton said about A'Myah.

Smith said A'Myah had actually grown her hair out about an inch but decided to shave it off last Friday.

"She did it for all the little girls who have alopecia or who are still going through the type of chemo that made her lose her hair," Smith said. "She was really brave to do that because she loved her hair."

Horton met A'Myah and her family at the Rockwall Harbor off Lake Ray Hubbard.

A'Myah posed for all her photos with her wig off, except one — her "signature shot."

"This is the release, where they let out their feelings," Horton said.

Horton had A'Myah put it back on to then rip off herself and scream out how she's feeling.

"Whatever you felt in that moment, I want you to release it here," Horton said, talking about when she had been bullied.

A'Myah didn't want to scream at first, but after some encouragement and help from some of Horton's team, she let it out and created an empowering photo.

"I like that I'm not wearing a wig," A'Myah said.

Horton will now include A'Myah's photos on his website as a part of his ongoing message.

"When I was growing up, there was no such thing as mental health," Horton said. "The only mental health they said you had was if you lost your mind. That was it. These images and these children are going to be a part of history when they see the world is going to change and it's going to turn around."