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Cervical cancer sufferer Rebecca Lawrence to shave off her hair for charity
11:00am Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
When Rebecca Lawrence sees her shoulder length hair falling to the floor it will be a sign of the way the 25-year-old is tackling her incurable illness.
The front of house manager at Rendezvous Hotel at Snaygill, who is living with cervical cancer, is losing her locks to raise cash to fight childhood cancer and a charity which supports sufferers of cancer and their families.
She has just started a programme of chemotherapy, having in May been told the cancer had spread to her stomach and learning that at some stage her hair was likely to fall out.
Rebecca, of Sharphaw Avenue, Skipton, has been preserving it as long as possible by using baby shampoo.
“But I decided I would shave it off before the cancer dictated things – its a way of me being in control of my life. That’s the way I want it to be from now on,” she said.
Since she launched her head shave the target she has set has rocketed, prompted by the support she has received which has “gone crazy.”
“I’ve increased it twice. I started wanting to raise £1,000 which I got within three days. I raised it to £2,500 which came in quickly and now I’m thinking of setting it at £5,000.”
Her own pledge has also spurred on other friends who are also to join her on September 3, from 6pm, to lose their hair or to endure waxing. “I’m shocked – overwhelmed – with the amount of money coming in and the support,” she said.
Rebecca, who gained a degree in hospitality management at Craven College, was diagnosed with cervical cancer last November and received treatment but in May this year, was told it had spread to her stomach and that it was incurable.
“The situation is manageable at the moment but that is not to say that it won’t come back. I was distraught but I know I have to carry on. I’m young and healthy so my attitude is to carry on and keep positive and I have my partner Ashley by my side. He has been my rock,” said Rebecca who has three siblings.
She is due to start an 18-week session of chemotherapy at Airedale General Hospital shortly.
She is a supporter of a campaign to reduce the age of the screening of young women for cervical cancer from 25 following the introduction of the inoculation against the disease for women and girls aged between 13 and 22.
“There’s a gap where people like me are missing out because there is no smear or injection. It’s ironic that as I was being diagnosed, my 13 year-old sister was getting the injection. I’m so glad she has got it, I wouldn’t want her to go through this.”
Rebecca believes that if she had been given a smear between aged 22 and 24, the disease would have been caught much earlier.
People wanting to support her can do so on virginmoneygiving.com/RebeccaLawrence. There are sponsor forms and raffle books at the hotel and people can turn up on the night, Tuesday, September 3 at 6pm.
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