Northridge students wore crazy hats, hair-dos and bandanas last week during a fundraiser to purchase "Hair for Harmony."

Northridge students wore crazy hats, hair-dos and bandanas last week during a fundraiser to purchase "Hair for Harmony."

Harmony Bland, a kindergartner, had surgery March 19 that required all her light brown hair to be removed. Her mother Rachael VanRiper wants to purchase the six-year-old a natural-looking wig she can wear while her hair grows back.

Northridge students and staff had to make contributions to Hair for Harmony in order to participate in the week-long fundraiser that included: Bandana Day on Monday, Crazy Hair Day Tuesday, Crazy Hat Day on Wednesday, Cowboy/Cowgirl Day Thursday and March Madness Day (wearing favorite college team shirts and hats) on Friday.

VanRiper said she appreciates everything the school has done for her daughter, who was born with hydrocephalus, more commonly known as water on the brain.

"She had a stroke when I was pregnant with her," VanRiper said. "This is the third time in less in a year we've had to shave her head."

The wig and needed accessories are estimated to cost $600 to $700, Van Riper said.

"I lost my job in April of last year, so there's no way I can afford it," she said. "We do have insurance for her."

Northridge Primary principal Andra Kisner said Harmony has a very caring student attendant, Jean McConnell, and teacher, Linda Smith, who brought the fundraising idea to her and superintendent John Shepard.

"They brainstormed the idea and we went for it," she said. "It has been going great. We've had great participation by our students and staff. On Monday we had $100 collected. It has been real fun."

Kisner added that Harmony has a great personality, and she's a fun student to have in the building.

"She captures everyone's heart no matter who it is," she said. "She has a real happy spirit about her. For us it seems hard for her to go through this but for her, she's excited. It makes you realize what's important."

Of Harmony's 37 surgeries in her short life, 35 have been to revise and add shunts (flexible tubes) in her head that help relieve pressure, VanRiper said.

"She has three shunts in her head, because ventricles in her brain are closed off, one in the left ventricle, two on the right side," VanRiper said. "She knows everything that goes on. She's very happy. For everything she has gone through, she's the most loving, kind-hearted child you would ever want to meet."

Academically, her condition has caused disability, as she is unable to retain information. Harmony's vision is also compromised and will worsen, her mother said.

"It's life-long," she said. "There's no reversing it."

VanRiper and her partner Doug Priest are very thankful for the efforts of Northridge schools. Harmony also has a half sister, Danyelle Stamper, 8.

"It means a lot and it's a big help," VanRiper said. "I call her my million dollar baby. As much as she as been through and the expense, she is literally worth a million dollars."

The youngster enjoys watching "Dora the Explorer" and playing video games with her sister.

"At dinner, she'll say a prayer and tell me 'You're the best cook,'" VanRiper said. "She always wants to help me do dishes. She has so much love in her."

Anyone who would like to contribute to Hair for Harmony can call the Northridge schools.