Greenan shaves head in support of Usry

Willa Greenan shaved her head in tandem with her best friend, Lila Ursry, who is undergoing cancer treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The girls used FaceTime to share the experience.
Staff Writer

Willa Greenan and Lila Usry have been best friends since the girl's parents moved next door to each other when Greenan was five and Usry was three years old.

When Usry was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and began receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Greenan had been thinking of ways she can help and comfort her best friend.

"She wanted to do something to help Lila," said Shannon Greenan, Willa’s mother. "Lila told her how afraid she was of losing her hair. Willa told me she wanted to shave off her hair in support of Lila and what she is enduring during treatment."

Greenan said Pat Pate gave Willa a tablet so she could FaceTime with Usry any time her best friend wanted to talk. She said it gives the girls the connection they need while Usry is in Minnesota.

"Lila's hair had begun to fall out, and Willa wanted to shave her hair off too. They wanted to FaceTime while they were each having their head shaved," Greenan said. "Kristy Smith at The Hair Station, cut Willa's hair and shaved her head while Lila was having her's shaved. The girls talked to each other while it was going on. It was such a brave thing to do to support Lila."

Greenan said Willa wanted to donate her hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, so it can be used to create wigs for people who are losing their hair due to cancer.

"I am so proud of how selfless she is," Greenan said. "At first I didn't want her to cut off all of her long brown hair. But it will grow back. The more I thought about it, it was a little thing to give up to make Lila feel better. Compared to what the Usry's are going through it is a very small thing."

Greenan said Willa is 11, and was very frightened when her mother told her that Lila had cancer and was going to the Mayo Clinic for treatment. She said it was hard to Willa to process at first.
"The idea of Lila losing her hair is how all of this started," Greenan said. "She didn't want Lila to experience that alone."

Willa Greenan said Usry is her best friend and they are like sisters. She said she loves Lila and wants to do everything she can to help her come home soon.

"All of Willa's friends at Oak Hill Academy were very supportive," Greenan said. "She was a little apprehensive about what the kids at school might say, but she was determined that she had done the right thing. But everyone understood and no one said anything negative."

Greenan said Willa would like to do more. She asked if anyone needs help with fundraisers or has an idea of a way to help to let the Greenan family know.

"We and all of the neighbors are keeping an eye on their house," Greenan said. "It's something we can all do to help. I think this has hit everyone hard. You never think about this happening to a child. But the whole community is praying for the Usry's and for Lila to come home soon."