By Peter Barnett
When Alyssa Hardley’s friend was diagnosed with cancer and began losing her hair during treatment, the first instinct of the caring eight year old from Westgate was to offer her some of her own.
Determined to help out, although her blond locks wouldn’t match with little Aurora’s own colour, Alyssa and her family set about raising money for the Little Princess Trust through a sponsored haircut.
The St Saviour’s School pupil pledged to have 15 inches cut from her waist-length hair to donate to the charity that uses human hair donations to make wigs for children and young adults who are losing theirs through medical conditions and during treatment.
Her mum Lorna said: “She understands that her hair won’t go to Aurora, as it is a different colour, but insisted on doing this for her friend in the hope that another little girl would do the same, and be a match for her friend.
“She would also like to raise the money that it costs the Little Princess Trust to turn her hair into a wig for another child to have.”
At the day of the big chop at the family home in Westgate, Alyssa’s tresses were measured, tied in bunches and then cut by stylist Sophie Scargill – and Alyssa was thrilled with her new look and the fact she was doing something positive to help others in the name of her friend.
So far more than £800 has been raised and the Just Giving page does not close until the end of the month, so there is still time to pledge.
Lorna added: “At the beginning of lockdown, Aurora, was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Leukaemia. Alyssa already knows what can follow having already watched both her maternal and paternal nannies lose their hair during cancer treatment.
“As we followed Aurora’s progress, it got to the point where she started to lose her hair, so Alyssa asked if she could give Aurora hers – I have never been more proud of my daughter, for wanting to do something so selfless for one of her friends.
“Anyone that knows us, knows how much I love her long blond hair, and I have talked her out of cutting it for the last two years.
“Our whole family and friends are overwhelmed by the support that Alyssa has received and I want to say a big thanks to everyone who has pledged money. We have beaten our target of £550 but there is still time to give it a little more of a boost until the end of this month.
“Alyssa has been brought up to realise the importance of helping others if you can, and she is rightly proud at what she has done – and her new style looks smashing too.”
The Little Princess Trust says: “When a child loses their hair to cancer or another condition, The Little Princess Trust will be there with a free, real hair wig to help restore their confidence and identity. We won’t stop until the research that we fund ends childhood cancer forever.
“Please visit us at www.littleprincesses.org.uk to find out how you can help us give young people back what cancer takes away. The Trust relies solely on the efforts of enthusiastic community fundraisers. We receive no formal funding. Please help to raise money for us so that we can help more families.”