South Queensferry woman Masha Allan has a stylish new hairdo after donating 16 inches of her hair to the Little Princess Trust – and raising money for two children’s charities.
Masha, 31, a project officer working for gas distribution company SGN in Edinburgh, has had long hair for as long as she can remember, but decided to take the plunge and have it cut off after a friend’s daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.
Friends, SGN employees and family have donated over £1,400, while SGN has added another £500, bringing the total to nearly £2,000.
Masha said: “In April, my friend’s six-year-old daughter Kaleigh was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a type of brain cancer with no known cure.
“Another friend’s son suffers from a debilitating and potentially life-limiting condition known as Mitochondrial Disease.
“I felt that compared to what they were going through losing my hair wasn’t a big deal”.
She plans to split the money raised between the Lily Foundation, a charity founded in memory of eight-month-old Lily Curtis, who lost her battle with Mitochondrial Disease; and Kaleigh’s Trust.
Itr’s a website set up by Masha’s friend Scott, Kaleigh’s dad, to highlight his daughter’s battle with DIPG and help other families affected by the condition.
Scott has set up a petition calling for research into DIPG brain tumours to be increased, which can be found at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131556.
Masha added: “Although I decided to ‘go for the chop’ back in April, I wanted to grow my hair for another six months to get it as long as possible.
“I can’t deny I was nervous leading up to the big day, but when something like that happens to your friends, it was a small sacrifice to make.
“The reaction from everyone has been really positive, although I have had to put up with a few Sinead O’Connor jokes.
“My five-year-old daughter has been going round telling anyone who will listen that her mum has had her hair cut off and that she’s going to grow her own hair so that she can help the other children.”
Masha donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust, a charity which makes real hair wigs for children who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment and other illnesses.
She said: “I am in awe at how generous and supportive everyone has been.”