When her mother lost her hair while undergoing chemotherapy, 10-year-old Courtenay Docherty decided she wanted to show her support.
So on Saturday, the Bloxham schoolgirl decided to have her hair cut to raise money for the Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides wigs and hairpieces for children who suffer hair loss due to cancer treatment.
In February last year her mother, Louise, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of just 31 after finding a lump in her breast.
Since then, she has had an operation and has been undergoing chemotherapy which has resulted in her losing her hair.
Speaking to the Banbury Guardian, Mrs Docherty said: “Courtenay found it quite stressful to deal with. She read some leaflets and heard that children were suffering from cancer as well and she wanted to do something for them.”
Courtenay had all of her hair cut off, around 25cm, by hairdresser, Sam Troon, at Revamp Hair Salon on Bloxham High Street.
Mrs Docherty said: “I was quite overwhelmed and was very proud of her that she would do something like this considering she is only 10 years old.”
The hair cut has raised £1,400. Both the money and Courtenay’s hair will be donated to the trust.
People can still donate money through the family’s Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-Docherty6.
The diagnosis of cancer came as a shock to the Dochertys as there was no history of breast cancer in Mrs Docherty’s family.
She said; “It doesn’t run in the family however I am undergoing tests to see if it is genetic. In the words of the doctors it could just be one of those things.”
She added: “I had surgery just before Christmas. It was and wasn’t a good Christmas, if you know what I mean.
“I started chemotherapy at the end of January and will be doing radiotherapy as well. The doctors are positive at the moment.”
When the time came, Mrs Docherty and her husband, Andrew, had to break the news of her diagnosis to Courtenay and her brother, Andrew, 12.
She said: “We sat the children down after school and had a word with them.
“We gave them some leaflets. If you read about it yourself it makes more sense. She asked me lot of questions afterwards.
“She was quite upset at the time but we tried to say it was all OK and I was undergoing treatment and they seemed quite happy with that.”
Now Courtenay is having to get used to have shorter hair. Mrs Docherty said: “She said it felt weird and strange and she can’t put her hair up.”
Bloxham Primary School, which Courtenay attends has also been supportive.
“They knew about it and they were really behind her,” Mrs Docherty said.
The Little Princess Trust works with specialist suppliers and hairdressers who offer wigs tailored to suit children’s needs and as close as possible to their original hair. See www.littleprincesses.org.uk.