Young Stevenage siblings set to donate own hair to charity in dad’s memory
PUBLISHED: 16:52 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:27 13 October 2020
Three young children who saw their dad’s hair fall out as he bravely battled cancer are donating their own hair to charity to be made into wigs for sick children suffering hair loss, in memory of their dad who sadly died last year.
John O’Shea – who lived in Stevenage with his wife Caitriona and children Livia, 10, Saoirse, seven, and Lorcan, six – was just 38 when he died in November.
He had spindle cell sarcoma – an extremely rare soft tissue tumour – and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in September 2018.
John had chemotherapy, but was told he was terminally ill last May. He spent months in and out of hospital, before being admitted to Letchworth’s Garden House Hospice Care, where he died.
Earlier this year Lorcan, Livia and Saoirse dyed their hair purple and raised more than £600 for the hospice, and their charity efforts have not stopped there.
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Lorcan will have his head shaved and Livia and Saoirse will have their hair cut so they can donate 28 inches of hair between them to the Little Princess Trust – a charity providing free real hair wigs to young people who have lost their hair through cancer treatment and other conditions.
The idea was Saoirse’s, who has hair almost down to her knees. Caitriona said: “We sadly lost John to cancer last year and it has been very hard on us all, especially the children. The shock of John losing his hair had a huge impact on them. Young girls going through the horror of cancer and having to feel a loss of their sense of identity, dealing with hair loss, really hit a cord with Saoirse, who has always had such long hair it’s a part of who she is.
“She said she wanted to donate her hair for young girls who have lost their hair to cancer like Daddy. I asked if she was sure. She turned to me and said ‘yes Mummy, of course. It will grow back. This is more important.’ To hear that from a seven-year-old made me well up with pride.”
The children are also hoping to raise enough money to fund the making of one wig. Caitriona said: “It’s £550 to make each wig. If you could donate even a little it all adds up.”
The children will be donating their hair on October 28 and fundraising for a further two weeks to bring them up to the one-year anniversary of their dad’s death.
Sponsor them at justgiving.com/fundraising/saoirseandlivia
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