On Friday, almost three years to the day since her step-grandfather died of cancer, Emily Dyer, from Gossops Green, had her hair cut off at Boutique hair and beauty salon in Ifield.
The Holy Trinity CofE School pupil has already raised more than £1,500 for the hospice where her step-grandfather, stayed in the last days of his life.
She was also remembering her maternal and paternal grandfathers who have also died from cancer since then.
Minutes before the haircut she said: “I haven’t been nervous all day and then when I get here I thought, ‘This is actually happening’. It feels good to have raised so much.”
Her mum Angela Frazer was sometimes shedding tears as she carried out the deed with Boutique salon owner Michelle Hyam.
They first plaited her hair in bunches to be sent away to the Little Princess Trust a charity which makes children’s wigs out of real hair. Then they cut them off before shaving her head.
Angela said: “I’m bursting with pride. The love that’s oozing from me right now.”
Getting used to her new hairstyle Emily said: “It feels itchy. It was quite scary. I was afraid my mum was going to clip me. I was shaking.”
Michelle said: “She’s so brave.
“As it grows back we will give her some funky hairstyles.”
Emily has currently raised £1,433 in sponsorship and a raffle draw held at the salon shortly after Emily’s headshave raised a further £191.
Angela received prizes donated by businesses including cupcakes from Stacey’s Delights bakery in West Green, breakfast at the Pelham Buckle pub in Ifield and membership for an adult and child for the Crawley Kung Fu School.
All the money will go towards helping people at St Catherine’s Hospice, which helps terminal cancer patients and their friends and family throughout treatment.
The charity also offers bereavement support to families after they lose loved ones to the disease.
Gina Starnes, the hospice ‘s director of nursing, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Emily for her fantastic fundraising efforts in aid of St Catherine’s.
“We need to raise £15,000 every day to continue to be there for local terminally ill local people and their families.
“Fundraising activities like Emily’s really do help us to continue providing our vital support across Crawley, Horsham, Mid Sussex and East Surrey.”
Emily is still accepting donations. To sponsor her go to http://www.justgiving.com/EmilyDyersheadshave