A teenager from Buckingham is having her hair cut off to raise funds for a charity that provided her friend with a wig after she was diagnosed with sarcoma.
Aoife Finn, 16, who goes to the Royal Latin School, decided on the kind-hearted gesture after learning that her friend Megan Ponte, 14, who goes to Akeley Wood School, had been diagnosed with sarcoma, a cancer of the bone or soft tissue.
Aoife said: “I have known Megan for six years – our parents became friends through swimming.
“We are really good friends and I thought the best way to show support was to lose some of my long hair so it can go to helping other kids.
“Megan has been really strong through it all.
“I’m a bit nervous about my challenge because I’ve always had long hair!”
So far Aoife has raised £345 with just under a month to go until the big cut, when she will have 12 inches of hair taken off, at Browns in Buckingham.
This is all after hearing about her friend Megan who first discovered a lump in October 2016 and was referred to Milton Keynes General Hospital. At first it was thought that the lump was a fibroadenoma, a common benign condition, and she was asked to come back to the clinic in three months.
However, the lump increased rapidly and after a further ultrasound and a biopsy in January 2017, Megan was swiftly referred to the John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital in Oxford where she was formally diagnosed with a sarcoma.
Megan’s father Luis said: “It was a shock, but Megan has taken everything in her stride.
“The tumour was pressing into her lung so we were told she would need to have treatment first to reduce its size.
“Megan will need to have surgery to remove the tumour, as well as three of her ribs.
“She has had a course of five cycles of chemotherapy, each one for three consecutive days which is pretty tough and makes Megan feel very ill and tired. “Thankfully, however, scans have shown that after just two cycles the tumour has already reduced in volume by nearly 50%.”
Megan and her family will be travelling to the United States soon for proton beam therapy ahead of surgery later this year.
Megan said: “My hair started to get thin after the first chemotherapy and then began to fall out in clumps.
“It got really itchy and annoying so my mum clipped it really short for me.
“After the second or third session of chemo most of my hair had gone so my dad shaved off the last wispy bits for me.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to go to school like that, but we got a wig which is really similar to my hair.
“My family and I have been really touched that Aoife has decided to donate her hair to be made up into a wig for someone else with cancer.”
If you would like to sponsor Aoife, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aoifefinn