Bella Thurston’s mom took to Facebook with her frustration after she says her 13-year-old daughter “was refused a school photo because she had her hat on.”
“F--- Cancer,” read the image that went with Kara Thurston’s exasperated caption.
Bella, who goes to Hoover Middle School in Albuquerque, N.M., has a form of cancer known as ependymoma, Kara told KOB.
She was diagnosed with the brain and spinal cancer when she was 5 years old, Kara told KOAT.
Kara coined the hashtag #bellabraveandstrong in her Facebook post, an indication of how she feels about her daughter’s response to the situation.
“He says it’s against policy. And I was like, ‘Okay, so I can’t wear my hat?’” Bella told KOAT. “And he was like, ‘No, go fix your hair, take your hat off or I won’t take your picture,’ and I didn’t let him take my picture, because I didn’t feel that I needed to take my hat off in order for him to take my school picture.”
Despite the circumstances, Bella doesn’t frame the interaction with the school photographer in terms of being a victim.
Some of Bella’s hair has fallen out, after a recent round of chemotherapy treatments, according to KOB, but she doesn’t want to be treated any differently than her classmates.
“No kid fighting this kind of battle should ever have to apologize for themselves,” Kara told the station.
Now, it’s the photography company that’s issuing the apologies, KOAT reported.
“We sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding that occurred with a student at Hoover Middle School and one of our photographers,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to the station.“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.”