Metro 17-year-old helps women battling cancer feel confident with free wigs

NORTHMOOR, Mo. -- Over the past five years, a metro teen has helped hundreds of local women feel confident and beautiful, and she has no plans of stopping.

"Whatever you can put your mind to, think about every day, you can really become," Marissa DeLeon said.

The 17-year-old model co-owns a hair line, Fabulous Hair Extensions Boutique in Northmoor, and provides free wigs to women battling cancer. She believes helping these women is a beautiful thing.

She got the idea to pay in forward after noticing a need.

"We'd have to turn some of them away because their hair would be too thin," she said of women battling cancer who came to the boutique.

Marissa DeLeon

That's when an idea was born: free wigs to anyone battling cancer. Now, those cancer patients don't need to worry about their hair or their appearance.

"Giving back to the community, especially those who are actually in need, it's a beautiful feeling," the 17-year-old said.

Mary Suiter is one of those women that Marissa helped. Suiter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.

"That's your identity. Not only did I lose my hair, I lost eyelashes, eyebrows, everything," Suiter said.

She's received several wigs over the years.

"It makes you feel 100 percent better," Suiter said.

Today, she's a cancer survivor and is grateful for Marissa's gift.

"She's a good girl. She's going to make us all cry," Suiter said of Marissa. "Not always do you find young people that caring."

To date, Marissa has given out hundreds of human hair wigs to help women like Suiter feel beautiful and confident during what can often be the toughest time in their lives.

Marissa will graduate a year early from North Kansas City High School and then plans to move to Los Angeles to pursue her modeling career. She's also the owner of Marissa DeLeon Productions, offering affordable photo shoots and teaching girls how to feel confident in front of the camera.

If you know a young achiever who is 18 years old or younger and is doing exceptional things, FOX4 wants to hear from you. Nominate them here.