Belfast Telegraph

Loughran sisters donate hair to cancer charity in memory of dad

By Lisa Smyth

Three inspirational sisters who lost their father in a tragic biking accident are donating their hair to a children's cancer charity in his memory.

The schoolgirls are making the selfless contribution to the Little Princess Trust so their hair can be made into wigs for children fighting cancer.

They are also raising money for the Aisling Centre in Enniskillen, where their mother has been undergoing counselling, and the Children's Heartbeat Trust, following the death of a young friend last year.

Their mum, Majella Loughran, said she believes her daughters have been so affected by grief and tragedy in their short lives that they are keen to help children facing a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.

Cassie (12), Annie (11) and eight-year-old Sophie from Maguiresbridge in Fermanagh lost their father Dermot in September 2009.

Aged just 36, he was involved in a fatal accident while riding his motorbike between Irvinestown and Dromore. He lost his life just two weeks before his youngest daughter Sophie was born.

Majella (44) said: "It's so hard for all the girls, they have experienced more tragedy as children than a lot of adults and it has forced them to grow up so quickly.

"They lost their daddy and their wee friend, Riley Moss, who had a congenital heart defect and was only six when she died last year.

"I think they are very aware that terrible things can happen, it has made them think a lot more about what other people can go through and that is why they are donating their hair to the Little Princess Trust.

"I'm so proud of them all, they really are incredible little girls and they are always thinking of others. Growing up without their daddy hasn't been easy - little Sophie never even got to meet her daddy and that has been particularly difficult for her.

"She never got to meet him, see him, hear his voice or see his smile, or touch him and she does get angry about that, which is understandable.

"I actually had a portrait painted of the two of them together. It was something I thought long and hard about doing, but I'm glad that I did it because she really loves it."

The family is holding a fun day at Knocks Community Centre in Lisnaskea on Father's Day - June 17, between 1pm and 6pm - where the three girls will have their hair cut off for the cancer charity. As well as raising funds, it is an opportunity for them to pay tribute to their dad.

"The girls are what have kept me going through the years. Without them I wouldn't be here and I'm so proud of them for what they're doing," said Majella.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rileymoss

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