13-Year-Old Cancer Patient Told By School Photographer To Take Off Her Hat Or He Wouldn’t Take Her Picture

Bella Thurston has been battling ependymoma, a brain and spine cancer, since she was five years old. Her New Mexico middle school recently held picture day, which is typically a day of nervous anticipation. Since she has lost some hair to chemo, Bella strode into picture day with her typical ball cap on. 

The photographer said her hat was “against policy.”

The photographer told Bella:

You can go fix your hair, take your hat off, or I won’t take your picture.

And Bella opted to forego her pictures.

When recounting the experience, Bella said:

It was just really humiliating and upsetting for me. I was trying hard not to cry. It was just not a good experience.

Bella’s mom, Kara Thurston, could not believe the incident. 

When something happens to your kid that you can’t fix, it’s heartbreaking.

Bella wants to be treated like everyone else.

I would like my picture to be taken the normal way and to be in the same spot that it always is in the yearbook.

The company behind the school photos was Lifetouch Photography.

They called it a misunderstanding, saying:

We have been in touch with the school and have reached out to the family to offer their daughter a complimentary photography session in a place of their choosing. In light of this, we will be revisiting our training protocol with our photographers.

The internet cannot believe how insensitive the photographer was to Bella.

Others are calling out Lifetouch for their employee’s behavior.

Watch United New International’s coverage of the story here.

H/T: YouTube, HuffPost, KOAT