Mum’s close shave for cancer-hit son

Three-year-old Kian Armstrong with mum Jemma after she had her head shaved for charity.
Three-year-old Kian Armstrong with mum Jemma after she had her head shaved for charity.
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A TODDLER who lost his hair as he battles cancer helped to shave his mum’s head so they can be bald together.

Jemma Armstrong, 29, decided to make the bold statement after son Kian, three, was devastated to lose his hair to chemotherapy.

As well as a show of unity, the event, in which Kian shaved off his mum’s shoulder-length brown locks at Castletown Community Centre, has helped to raise funds for charity.

The Castletown mum-of-four said: “Kian used to have masses of hair and it really upset him to lose it. Ever since he found out I was doing this, he’s been telling anyone and everyone about it.”

Jemma’s hair will be donated to the Little Princess Trust which makes real hair wigs for children who’ve lost theirs to cancer. Cash raised on the day will go to the Neuroblastoma Society and Chelsea’s Angels, which helps children with cancer.

It’s a cause close to the Armstrong family’s hearts after Kian was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer which forms from nerve tissue, earlier this year.

He has had a number of treatments to combat the illness including surgery, a stem cell transplant and a high intensity course of chemotherapy.

Today, he is in the middle of a course of radiotherapy.

At its worst, the disease meant he was kept in isolation from his brothers and sisters in case of infection because his immune system was so fragile.

Jemma, married to Neil, said: “A lot of people have said they can’t believe I would do a head shave and that it’s brave. But I sit around beautiful teenagers in hospital every day who have no hair. I think if they can do it, so can I.

“I didn’t want to do something that would be easy like a sponsored walk, I wanted to do something challenging, to make a statement. Me and Kian are the same now.”

Sunderland salon the Pussydoll Palace has donated a wig to Jemma, who is also mum to Keith, 14, Keeley, 10, and Kyle, seven, which she can wear for special occasions.

She said: “I was worried that the older kids might be embarrassed if we went out for dinner and I had a bald head. But they said ‘we’re not embarrassed about Kian so why would we be embarrassed about you?’

“I think I’m going to need some woolly hats for Christmas though, to keep warm.”

Last month, Kian was given a Child of Courage award at the Pride of Wearside awards in recognition of his ongoing battle with cancer.

l To sponsor Jemma, search for “Kian Armstrong – My Fight Against Neurobastoma” (sic) on Facebook.

Twitter: @sunechokaty