AFTER her 21-month-old son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, a mother is to cut off a foot of hair for the Little Princess Trust to make a wig for a child who is losing theirs.
As well as making the donation, Mel Thomson is also passionate about fundraising for research into neuroblastoma, the disease which affected her son, Quinn.
She said she found it upsetting to watch him lose his hair when he was just a few months old.
She added: ‘He didn’t have much hair to start with, but I found it quite upsetting. Imagine if it was a little girl with long hair.’
Mrs Thomson said she hoped her donation would help to make things easier for another family.
‘It’s one less thing to get upset about,’ she said.
She will be chopping off a foot of hair on 2 May.
‘Long hair is quite a lot of maintenance, especially with a tiny person,’ she added.
Mrs Thomson, who works as a pharmacist, has already brought in over £1,100 in sponsorship, which is double her original goal.
To create a wig, the Little Princess Trust needs to combine hair from up to 14 people. It costs around £550 to make, and fitting and adjusting it costs about an extra £150.
Mrs Thomson said she started growing her hair out when she got engaged in 2018, and explained that her 2020 wedding was postponed before her son was born.
She added: ‘People don’t realise how much it costs to make a wig.
‘It’s not about shouting about a wig. It’s about shouting about research into the cancers. Neuroblastoma is a rare disease; they don’t get a lot of money. Having charities that fund [research into] rare diseases is essential.’
She said it was just as important to her to fund research into neuroblastoma – a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body – as it was to create a wig.
Quinn was diagnosed in December 2021.
About 100 children are found to have the disease in the UK every year – and there are a range of risk levels. Mrs Thomson said: ‘It was caught very early, and the type of neuroblastoma that Quinn has is very low risk, so we were lucky.
‘He’s doing incredibly. We’re very lucky in our journey compared to other children.’
The family spent two months at the Young Lives vs Cancer house in Southampton, where they met other families with children suffering from the disease.
Wendy Tarplee-Morris, founder of The Little Princess Trust, said: ‘The wigs we provide really do help to boost the confidence and self-esteem of the young people who receive them at what a can be a very difficult and challenging time.
‘We are also very proud to fund childhood cancer research, but we can only do this thanks to amazing people like Mel.
‘All of us at LPT are so grateful to Mel and we would also like to send our best wishes to the gorgeous Quinn.’
To donate to Mrs Thomson’s fundraising efforts, visit justgiving.com/page/hairy-tale-ending.