An amazing effort from Polegate woman Nicola Barratt saw her donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust while also raising funds for the hospital that helped her mum Linda beat a rare form of cancer.
Nicola, 34, explained: “I live in Polegate and my mum lives in Stone Cross. Two years ago mum was diagnosed with a rare form of intestinal cancer called a GIST – a gastrointestinal stromal tumour. It’s a rare type of tumour found in the digestive system.
“She had major surgery to remove the tumour along with her gallbladder and then reconstruct the intestines. Because it’s a rare condition we had to go to the Royal Surrey County Hospital so that a specialist could do it.
“After the surgery she was on the Frensham Ward for about a week recovering, and then I took her home and nursed her for a few weeks. it took around a year to recover from the op but Mum’s doing a great now – she’s cancer free and brilliant.
“Last year I decided I was going to grow my hair to cut it off and donate it to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for kids and young people who have had cancer or other illnesses which have left them without hair.
“I probably grew it for around a year in total – from last year until this February. I thought I’d try to raise a bit of money for the Frensham Ward at the same time, so set up a VirginMoneyGiving with a target of £200. I’d passed that in 24 hours so upped it to £500. In the end I raised £1906.26
I had my hair cut in February at Neon Hair Boutique in Brighton. I decided to dye it a crazy colour to mark the occasion and went for green as I’d always fancied it. In the end I donated 19 inches of hair to the Princess Trust – longer than I’d expected it to be.
Mum and I went back to the Royal County Surrey Hospital last Tuesday (February 27) to see the ward sister and matron and hand over the cheque. It was lovely to go back on such happier terms and find out what they’re planning to do with the money.
They are looking to buy three iPads along with an app, which allows patients with communication problems to indicate their needs. They’ve said they have seen it used to great success on other wards. Another thing they were excited about with the iPads is they can download games like Sudoku or crosswords onto them and then elderly people who aren’t interested in watching TV and don’t have relatives to bring them other means of entertainment, will have something to do.
“So that’s brilliant, I’m really thrilled that they are going to be useful for the ward and that other people will benefit from them. Mostly I’m just so grateful to the hospital for making my mum better. She means the world to me.”
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