Year 8 student Chloe Pickard is cutting off her hair to support a fellow student who is battling an immune disease. Chloe came up with the idea after her class-mate, Gemma Morris, lost her hair during treatment for lupus. Chloe has delivered two assemblies in order to raise awareness among the students and staff and the money from a mufti day later this month will be donated to a lupus charity.
Chloe’s long hair will be cut to above her shoulders and she will donate her ponytail to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes and supplies real-hair wigs to sick children.
Chloe said: ‘Gemma is a really close friend. She has been diagnosed with lupus so I am going to shave my hair to raise money. Lupus is a disease of immune system. It attacks organs in major parts of the body and turns the body against itself. With Gemma it affected her kidneys and she was put on dialysis for two months. I went to see her a couple of times in hospital in Nottingham. She is recovering at home but she still has to go back into hospital.
‘She texted to say that her condition had got slightly better but she had lost a lot of her hair because of her treatment and so she had her hair cut into a bob and it was really thin. I discussed it with my mum and I said if it was me I wouldn’t want to be the only one with short hair, so that is why I came up with the idea of cutting mine. I have been growing it since 2009 and will probably have about 30cm cut off which I am donating it to the Little Princess Trust.’
The mufti day will take place later this term and Chloe plans to get her hair cut in the last week of this term.
The girls' teacher, Mr Tang said: 'I am immensely proud of the maturity that Chloe and 8R have shown and how supportive they have been towards their close friend and peer. I am also so proud of Gemma’s fighting spirit and determination and as a tutor and tutor group we are willing her to come back as soon as possible. Chloe’s gesture is a sign of the high regard we have for Gemma and her family.’
Gemma's father, Steve said: 'Chloe has spoken to us all about her plans, she shared her presentation with us all the weekend before last. We are very proud, touched, honoured by Chloe's efforts and are extremely grateful to 8R and all involved at Brooke Weston for their support. Please pass on our thanks to Ms Stringer and all at the school.'