Sunderland woman sheds locks to support best friend with motor neurone disease

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A LOVING best friend shed her locks as fund-raising efforts to prolong the life of a city mum got under way.

Stacey Brickle now sports a skinhead after raising hundreds of pounds by having her head shaved by Kim Straughan at Adonis, Southwick.

Almost there... Stacey Brickle holds hand with her best friend Beverley Gartland.

Almost there... Stacey Brickle holds hand with her best friend Beverley Gartland.

The stunt was in aid of Bev Gartland, who has motor neurone disease (MND), which can leave victims unable to walk, talk or feed themselves.

Millfield mum Bev, who uses a wheelchair to get around because of her condition, was told by doctors last June she had the illness, which can lead to an early death in many cases.

She is in the process of retiring from her job at EDF Energy and having her home modified.

It is hoped that if enough money is raised, she could use an experimental drug being trialled in the U.S. called the Deanna Protocol. The drug slows down the effect MND has on the body and could give her vital extra time with husband Matthew, 43, and sons Matthew, 21, and Ryan, 19.

Fund-raisers would also like to buy a ramp for the family home so access is easier for Bev, 42. “It’s absolutely amazing what people are doing for me,” she said.

“It costs about £4,000 a year to get the drug so it’s a lot of money but there is nothing else I can use until they find a cure.”

An emotional Stacey, 35, who works at Fusion, said after the trim: “I’ve always had really long hair but I don’t care. Bev is my best friend and I love her to bits.

“I would give her one of my limbs if it would help in any way.”

Other pals of Bev’s got their legs waxed at Adonis and a charity night has been planned to take place at Lakeside Club, in Farringdon, on September 28.

Fusion has promised to match whatever is raised and Olympic boxing medallist Tony Jeffries has donated a signed Manny Pacquiao glove as an auction prize.

“Loads of people have contacted us on Facebook about Bev and said they want to donate things,” added Stacey, of Pennywell, who is mum to Billy, 15, Jack, 14, David, 10, and Dean, five. “We are really grateful to everyone.”