A Billingshurst teenager whose brother fought off cancer twice has shaved her head to raise funds for two charitable causes that helped the family during his treatment.
When Molly Hedger, 15, a student at the Weald School, visited her brother Sam at Southampton General Hospital she was shocked to hear that many teenage girls who had been diagnosed with cancer were more traumatised by losing their hair than being told they had the disease and could lose their lives.
She decided to shave her hair off to support children, especially teenage girls, who lose their hair due to chemotherapy, to show them being ‘bald is beautiful’, and they should be proud of it as a sign of their courage, bravery, and strength.
She has raised more than £1,000 at the Weald for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust, which helped by supplying nurses to visit Sam at home during rigorous chemotherapy and contributing towards travel costs, and £1,200 on JustGiving for the Piam Brown Ward in Southampton, where Sam was treated for an entire year.
Her hair has also been donated to a charity that makes wigs for children who have lost their hair after chemotherapy.
Molly wrote on her JustGiving page: “I have always wanted long hair, and it has taken me years to grow it to the length it is now. However, I wanted to do something to show the girls (and boys) who lose their hair from chemo that ‘bald is beautiful’.”
Linda Hedger, Molly and Sam’s mum, said: “Both these charities rely heavily on donations to run smoothly.
“We were amazed that Molly was willing to have her gorgeous long hair shaved off for such causes, but not entirely surprised as she has always shown a beautiful caring and empathetic side to her character.”
At the age of two Sam was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, the most common cancer in infancy, a day before Molly was born and was given a ten per cent chance of surviving.
He lost his left kidney but eight months later all his treatment and surgeries were over.
Then in 2012 he was diagnosed with bone cancer osteosarcoma, which led to a year of treatment, including chemotherapy, and the amputation of his left leg and pelvis.
Now he is in the clear and received the Courage Award at the County Times’ first ever Youth Awards last month.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/MollyHedger
For more information visit www.thesussexsnowdroptrust.com or www.southamptonhospitalcharity.org