Brave Burnley woman (28) facing cancer battle donating hair to children's charity
A brave young woman facing an ovarian cancer battle has decided to donate her hair to be made into wigs for child cancer sufferers.
Burnley woman Kate Elsa (28), who recently moved to the area from Preston, was diagnosed in November with the terrible disease and just a month later, on December 21st, had a double mastectomy.
Now facing chemotherapy treatment, Kate has decided to shave off her long hair, of which she has always been proud, to donate to the Princess Hair Appeal.
In a cruel twist of fate, Kate, who works with vulnerable children, is now facing the added challenge that she may never have children of her own.
"When I found out losing my hair was an inevitable outcome of the treatment I face I can't tell you how much I cried," she said.
"My eyes stung from the tears, my face mask sodden and even though I knew I had a responsibility to be strong and empower others I couldn't help feeling tiny. After a double mastectomy and the thought of cycles of treatment ahead I can't say I was massively positive.
"As a woman my hair has always been something that I have used to make myself feel more confident, feminine and just a boss. Hpwever, I wanted something positive to come from the treatment and donated my hair to this wonderful charity is just that.
"I started thinking about all the wonderful amazing little people I know from my work with children with complex health issues, to my friends' bundles of joy who rely on singing along to a hair swishing Elsa from Frozen or Tick Tock influencer teenagers - their hair is so important to them.
"I started to think about all the children who have faced or are about to face the same or harder journeys than my own. Not only getting through gruelling and painful tests and treatments but also losing parts of their identity in the process. Just like me but not old enough to understand the benefits of these gruelling procedures in the long run.
"This charity not only provides wigs for children going through cancer treatment and other illnesses that cause them to lose their hair but they also offer amazing support to families and fund vital research for cancer.
"For me personally, I have decided that I would like to adopt if possible and that is what motivates me."
Speaking to the Burnley Express, Kate, who was born in Portugal and has worked with desperate children around the world including Syria, Greece and Africa, said she wanted to remind young people not to ignore health issues.
"I had some health problems early last year but dismissed them," she said. "I want to highlight this issue to other people not to ingore any warning signs and get themselves checked up, even during this pandemic.
"The NHS are wonderful so don't be put off going to your doctor if you have concerns."
To support Kate visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/princess-hair-appeal?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet