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First cut: Heather has lifelong locks chopped for charity

By Victoria O'Hara

A schoolgirl with amazingly long hair made the brave decision to have it cut off for the first time to raise money for a cancer charity in memory of Caleb Overton.

Heather Edgar from Dundonald - whose long locks passed her knees - decided to have her first professional haircut and donate the hair to the Princess Trust, which will make a wig for a child battling cancer.

The 10-year-old was inspired to have the charity haircut after her schoolfriend Caleb passed away in April. The 11-year-old boy was at golfing champ Rory McIlroy's side last October when the world No.1 officially opened Daisy Lodge - a groundbreaking therapeutic centre offering a short-break support facility for children with cancer.

Caleb, who stayed at the lodge in Newcastle, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 at the age of seven. It was discovered he had a tumour on his spine, known as a spinal PNET.

Heather's mother Elaine (45) said she was friends with Caleb at Brooklands Primary School and talked to him in the playground.

"She used to come home and talk to me about her wee friend - the little boy called Caleb she met and say that he just wasn't well," she said.

"It was a shock when he passed away. Heather always loved having her hair long and would only want the very tail ends cut off, but when it was suggested she could have it cut in memory of Caleb and raise money for charity, she immediately said yes."

Elaine added: "Caleb would wear bandanas so we thought we could also raise money for Bandanas for the Brave charity. I'm so proud of her for doing this."

Heather had the locks snipped off during an event in the Asda store in Dundonald yesterday. A bucket collection for charity was also organised.

Caleb's mother Sandra said she and the family were touched by Heather's decision to cut her hair.

"That is so lovely," she said.

"I'm so touched, and very proud of Heather. I know that her hair will make somebody happy, and will help whoever it is to cope with their illness with confidence. That is such a kind thing for her to do."

Ellen Vance from Bandanas for the Brave said Heather was "amazing" for offering to have her hair cut to help others.

"Heather knew that helping these two charities meant that if kids who are sick didn't want to wear a wig, then they can wear a bandana and help them build their confidence and bring a smile to their face."

Belfast Telegraph


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