A kind-hearted youngster is coping with the death of her beloved grandmother by doing something to help others.
Scarlett Ruyten, seven, didn’t understand why her gran, Cherie Hodge, had to lose her hair after she was diagnosed with cancer.
The 61-year-old battled the disease, which started in her lungs before spreading through for body, for 18 months before losing her life on February 3.
Now, the Dame Dorothy Primary School pupil is cutting off seven inches of her own her to donate to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer.
Her mum, Robyn Greenfield, said: “My mam had an 18-month battle with cancer and Scarlett never really understood everything that was happening until she was gone.
“My mam had lost all of her hair and wore wigs and Scarlett never really questioned it, she just thought she had new hair.
“But when my mam died, I started to really worry about Scarlett. She started acting out and being disruptive at school and at home.”
Scarlett, who lives with her mum and baby brother Harley Smith, four-months, in Roker, is also asking people to sponsor her so she can donate money to the charity along with her hair.
Robyn, 25, added: “I was booked in for a c-section for Harley on February 16 and I was begging the doctors to bring him out early so my mam could meet him, but unfortunately she couldn’t hang on, and I think that’s another reason that Scarlett found everything so tough. It had always just been me and her then all of a sudden there was a new baby there to take up my time and her nan was gone.
“One day I got a phone call from Scarlett’s school saying she’d cut some of her hair off. When I went to pick her up I asked her why she’d done it and she just burst out crying and said she wanted to be like her nanny and have short hair.
“I sat her down and explained to her that cancer patients sometimes lose their hair and that that’s what had happened to her nan, then I told her about the Little Princess Trust and she said straight away that she wanted to give them her hair.”
Scarlett will be getting the chop sometime soon and Robyn says she couldn’t be prouder of her little girl.
She added: “I had been really worried about her after my mam passed away because I always felt like she’d taken it too well. She didn’t really cry, but then obviously she started acting naughty and then she did this – it was a chunk of her hair about three inches long that she cut off and it just broke my heart when she told me why she’d done it.
“She’s just really turned a corner now and is doing this amazing thing to help little boys and girls with cancer and I’m so proud of her.
“I was a bit gutted at first because I’ve always liked her having long hair, but it’s what she wants to do and if it’s going to help her cope, then that’s all that matters.”
To make a donation, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/scarlett-marie