Cancer warrior Kellie Pickler has a very close connection to the disease - her grandmother died the day after she was diagnosed.
The country singer agreed to shave off her hair to support her best friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer, and now she admits the move was in part a tribute to her late gran.
In a new TV interview with comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, Pickler says, "A lot of people don't know this but my grandmother passed away with cancer (sic). It was a different type of cancer but she passed away the very next morning after being diagnosed."
During the Red High Heels singer's appearance on DeGeneres' show, which will air on Monday (17Sep12), she offered up footage of her crop, admitting it was a magical experience: "When Summer (her best friend) was diagnosed with breast cancer back in June we made a pact that we would shave our heads together. I think (the) last thing that you want (for) anyone that you love to feel like... is that you don't want them to walk through the valley alone. They need to know that. I think it's important to have a cancer buddy.
"I went first and... that is probably one of the most beautiful moments of my life. Just being able to do that with her."
Pickler's pal started chemotherapy treatment last week (ends07Sep12) and the singer admires her strength so far: "It's hard on your body. It's hard on your mind. It's not an easy thing to go through. But she's a strong woman and she's handled it with such grace.
"I was able to be with her for her first chemo treatment, which was important I think for both of us, because, like I said, she's my big sister. She really is. We're not blood kin but we are sisters."