April 2018: Student donates hair and raises money after brother is diagnosed with leukaemia

BRAVE Year 9 student Bryony Booth shed 18 inches of her long hair to make a wig for a child with cancer after her brother was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Bryony’s long plait of hair was cut off in assembly by Charlotte Jeffs, Manager at Antony and Patricia Salon, Rawtenstall, in front of the whole year group as they counted down from 10.

Bryony’s brother, Harrison, six, was able to attend as was his older brother Alexander, eight, along with mum Catherine and nan Adeline Todd.

Immediately afterwards Bryony was whisked away to the salon, owned by family friend Tony Winder, where Charlotte washed, cut and styled Bryony’s hair into a graduated bob.

Harrison was diagnosed at half-term with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and since then has spent a lot of time in hospital. His family have been able to be near him thanks to accommodation provided by Ronald McDonald Charities and Bryony was sponsored to have her hair cut, raising more than £1,500 for the charity.

Headteacher Mr Jackson said: “Bryony got up in front of every year group at assembly from Year 7 to 11 and explained what had happened to her brother and how she was planning to have her hair cut and raise money. She was really articulate and really clear.”

Bryony admitted it had been a bit scary at school having her hair cut in front of such a large crowd but said: “I felt I had to do it.

“My nan has always just trimmed the bottom of my hair and it has been years since I was in a proper salon.

“My friends said they thought I was going to look very different. It certainly feels a lot lighter and I really like the style.”

Harrison’s verdict on his sister’s new look? “My sister’s hair looks good.”

He will have intensive treatment for the first six months and then a more gentle ‘maintenance’ treatment for three years.

Harrison will then need regular check-ups for many years to come.