After her 21-month-old son was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer, a local mum is planning to cut off a foot of hair to be used in the creation of a wig for a child who is losing their hair.
As well as gifting her hair to the Little Princess Trust, Mel Thomson is also hoping to collect donations for research into neuroblastoma – the form of cancer that her son was diagnosed with.
Mel says she found it upsetting to watch her son Quinn, who was just a few months old at the time, lose his hair.
She said: "He didn’t have much hair to start with, but I found it quite upsetting. Imagine if it was a little girl with long hair."
Pictured: Quinn was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in December 2021, when he was just a few months old.
She hopes her donation will help make things easier for another family.
"It’s one less thing to get upset about," she added.
Mel will be braving the chop on 2 May and says she feels ready for the change, explaining that "long hair is quite a lot of maintenance, especially with a tiny person!"
To create a wig, the Little Princess Trust needs to combine hair from up to fourteen people. It costs around £550 to create each wig, and fitting and adjusting the wig costs around £150 on top of that.
Mel said she started growing her hair out when she got engaged, but her 2020 wedding was postponed and her son Quinn was born – meaning she has now been growing out her hair for almost five years.
She said it’s just as important to her to fund research into neuroblastoma as it is to create a wig.
Mel is spreading the word about the rare form of cancer by sharing hair-related puns on her Facebook page, and has already raised over £1,100 – more than double her initial goal.
Pictured: Mel has been growing out her hair for almost five years, and is hoping to donate around 12 inches.
Her son Quinn was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in December 2021.
Neuroblastoma is a rare childhood cancer – only around 100 children are diagnosed in the UK every year – and there is a range of risk levels.
Mel explained: ‘It was caught very early, and the type of neuroblastoma that Quinn has is very low risk, so we were lucky.
"He's doing incredibly. We’re very lucky in our journey compared to other children."
The family spent two months at the Young Lives vs Cancer house in Southampton, where they met other families with children suffering from cancer.
Quinn is now in remission and his results remain positive.
Mel explained that she is passionate about funding research into neuroblastoma which does not see as much funding as other cancers due to its rarity.
"It’s not about shouting about a wig," she said. "It’s about shouting about research into the cancers.
"Neuroblastoma is a rare disease, they don’t get a lot of money. Having charities that fund rare diseases is essential."
Pictured: Mel is passionate about increasing awareness and funding for neuroblastoma.
Wendy Tarplee-Morris, founder of The Little Princess Trust, sent her encouragement to Mel.
She said: "The wigs we provide really do help to boost the confidence and self-esteem of the young people who receive them at what a can be a very difficult and challenging time.
"We are also very proud to fund childhood cancer research but we can only do this thanks to amazing people like Mel.
"All of us at LPT are so grateful to Mel while we would also like to send our best wishes to the gorgeous Quinn."
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