Belfast Telegraph

Schoolgirl to donate hair to charity in tribute to cousin who lost fight with cancer

By Sophie Inge

A grief-stricken schoolgirl is donating her hair to charity -in memory of a cousin who lost her brave battle with cancer just last month.

Zoe Jefferson (15) decided that cutting her waist-length locks would not only be a fitting tribute, but also an apt donation to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides wigs made of real hair for child cancer patients.

Last month, her mother's cousin, Rebecca Haughey - who had lost her own hair through chemotherapy - tragically died of leukaemia at the age of 18.

Zoe, who lives in Lisburn, hopes that by donating her long tresses to be made into a wig, she will be helping other teenagers who have to go through the ordeal of losing their hair. "I chose this charity because my cousin wore wigs after her therapy, and she liked wearing them because they built up her confidence," she said.

Despite spending years growing her tresses, Zoe isn't too concerned about losing them. "It's quite a big change, but I'm sure I'll deal with it," she said.

She has also set up a Justgiving page which has already surpassed her initial £100 fundraising target.

Rebecca, who lived in Co Armagh, was diagnosed with primary bone cancer at the age of 16.

The illness went into remission but, in February this year, she was diagnosed with leukaemia. In July, she was told that the cancer was likely to be terminal. After being given the prognosis, she posted a heartbreaking letter on her Facebook page, in which she vowed to fight the disease with all her strength.

"It's going to be a long, difficult journey ahead, but through Hell or high water, I'm going to get through it all and prove to my consultant that this will not beat me," she wrote.

Tragically, however, she lost her battle with cancer on September 8. Zoe, who hopes to work in medicine one day, said she had only good memories of Rebecca. She has booked her hair appointment for Saturday, October 22.

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