Sunderland cancer survivor has locks chopped to help ill children

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A KINDHEARTED cancer survivor took on a hair-raising challenge to help ill girls.

Viv Gardner, of Tunstall, had inches cut off her blonde locks to donate to the Little Princess Trust.

Viv Gardner having her hair cut for charity at Jekyll & Hyde hairdressing, Ormonde Street, Sunderland, on Thursday.

Viv Gardner having her hair cut for charity at Jekyll & Hyde hairdressing, Ormonde Street, Sunderland, on Thursday.

The charity makes wigs for young girls who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

Mother-of-three Viv, 53, said seeing the youngsters during her own treatment made her want to help.

The grandmother-of-two, who was given the all clear from breast cancer in March, said she has grown her hair purposely to donate to charity.

She said: “Doing this is very emotional for me, and I was really nervous.

“But it’s the final chapter, really, so it’s like closure for me.”

Viv, who had her hair cut for free by Caroline Lamb at Jekyll and Hyde Hairdressing in Ormonde Street, Sunderland, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009.

Other members of her family have also suffered from the disease, and her daughters, Lianne Gardner, 31, and Claire Gardner, 28, had double mastectomies to prevent them developing it.

She added: “The effects of breast cancer made me prioritise what’s important in life.

“Life is short, you don’t know what’s around the corner, so enjoy every minute.

“My biggest issue was what if I had passed on to my daughters a breast cancer gene?  

“I wish they didn’t have to go through what they did, but it was their decision. I can only be there for them if they need me.”

Viv hasn’t raised money for the Little Princess Trust, but cleaning company Maxim Cleaning Services Ltd, based at Sunderland Enterprise Park, has donated £300, which is the value it costs to make a wig.

The mum, who has completed the Cancer Research Race for Life every year since being diagnosed, raise £1,100 for the Women’s Cancer Detection Society at a surprise birthday party.She said: “In one way it’s been a long journey, and painful, but the time has gone quickly. I grew my hair purposely and celebrated by giving it to charity.”

Anyone who wants to have their hair cut for the Little Princess Trust can do so, for free, at Jekyll and Hyde Hairdressing. Call 542 0971.

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