A big-hearted Derry schoolgirl is to have her flowing locks cut off to help a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer.
Eleven-year-old Ciara Harkin agreed to have her waist-length hair chopped off after seeing a family friend lose all theirs while undergoing chemotherapy for leukaemia.
Ciara’s hair-raising effort is in aid of the Little Princess Trust which provides real hair wigs for children who are suffering hair loss because of cancer treatment.
Ciara, a P7 pupil at St Patrick’s PS, Pennyburn, has never had her hair cut short before but plans to have a whopping 12 inches chopped off on February 15.
Not only is Ciara sending her hair to the Little Princess Trust but she is also raising money for the charity which needs £350 to make each wig.
“I’m hoping to raise as much as possible for the charity,” she says.
And, already - via her JustGiving fundraising page - she’s raised a fantastic £1,110.
“I’m so completely amazed by the donations from all over the world,” she says. “Thank you so much to everyone who has donated.”
Mum Joan says Ciara has had “amazing” hair since she was a very young child.
“Wherever she goes, people always comment on her beautiful hair,” she says.
Joan revealed that, a few years ago, Ciara closely followed the progress of a friend’s daughter who lost all her hair while receiving treatment for cancer.
“A local hairdresser gave her the idea of donating her hair so we searched the internet and she chose the Little Princess Trust.
“Ciara’s uncle, David, then set up a JustGiving page for her. Her initial target was £350 as this is how much a child’s wig costs the charity. We were really hoping she would achieve her target in the five weeks before her hair was cut. We were totally overwhelmed when she reached her target in less than 24 hours.
“Donations have flooded in from Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Singapore and America. The amount raised to date is £1,110.”
Joan says Brendan Holden, stylist at The Salon, Atlantic Quay, Derry, is donating the cut and a free re-style for Ciara on February 15.
Donations to Ciara’s fundraising drive can be made at www.justgiving.com/ciara-harkin