Great Ashby’s Keira, 13, shaves her head for charity after mum’s cancer battle
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
A 13-year-old girl who has had her head shaved after her mum’s battle with breast cancer says she wants to inspire other girls not to get hung up on the way they look, but to build their self-esteem from within.
Mel Switters, who lives in Great Ashby, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer - an agressive form of the disease which can be difficult to treat - in October 2016 after finding a pea-sized lump when checking her breasts in the shower.
She went on to have 16 rounds of chemotherapy in 2016/17, followed by a lumpectomy and three weeks of radiotherapy.
In April 2017 Mel was given the all-clear and thought her cancer journey was over. But in October last year she found another lump in the same breast, in the same place. She had to fight cancer again and had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in November.
Mel, 45, has since been given the all-clear but is having chemotherapy as a precaution.
On Friday, Mel’s daughter, Keira, had her head shaved by her mum at The Nobel School in Stevenage, where she is a pupil, to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Keira will also donate her hair to the Little Princess Trust - a charity which makes wigs for children and young people who have lost their hair through illness.
Keira, who has raised more than £1,000 so far, said: “My mum is the bravest woman I know and totally rocks a bald head.
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“There are other cancer patients out there with much less confidence, so I decided to shave my head.
“I want to inspire others to have confidence in themselves, to not hide behind their hair, but to let their personality shine through and not care what other people think of them.”
Mel, a North Herts FM radio presenter, said: “I am so proud. She wants to empower girls to not hide behind their looks and build their self-esteem from within instead. She really is amazing.”
Mel added: “As I look back on my journey, I have no anger about it. In fact, I thank breast cancer. Without it I would not be the woman I am now. Cancer gave me the courage to be who I truly am, and helped me to love myself and appreciate every day I’m alive.”
You can still support Keira by donating via justgiving.com/fundraising/keira-switters
You can also check out ‘Mel’s Positive Cancer Page’ on Facebook.