Allie Allen has been fighting brain cancer since January 2013

By Alex Heigl
Updated October 19, 2015 03:05 PM
Credit: Courtesy Debbi Jacobson Allen

Like a lot of cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment, Allie Allen started losing her hair. And though the 17-year-old from Collierville, Tennessee, was hoping to hang onto her hair until her birthday on September 22, she ended up having to shave it off the day before.

Allen wasn’t looking forward to attending her homecoming dance five days later with a newly shaved head either, but she was saved by her date, Brayden Carpenter. Carpenter, 18, who’d known Allen since grade school, decided to shave his own head, and the pair went off to the dance with matching haircuts.

“It was so sweet of him,” Allen, who’s been battling brain cancer since January 2013, told TODAY. “He really didn’t have to do that, even though a part of me felt relieved that I wasn’t going to be the only bald person at the dance.”

“I figured if she’s not going to have hair, neither should I,” Carpenter told TODAY. “She still looked beautiful and it didn’t matter if she had hair or not. It’s just hair. It grows back.”

“She was like a celebrity,” Carpenter added of the pair’s evening. “Everyone wanted to talk to her.” Allen, a member of the school’s dance team, has decided to pursue med school after she graduates high school. “I’ve learned so much through this process and want to explore more, while hopefully helping other people,” she said. (Allen’s mother, Debbi, is currently battling breast cancer.)

“Allie had no clue [what Carpenter had done] until he showed up,” Debbi told ABC. “Now that is class!”