Young cancer survivors across the country will be wearing wacky wigs next Wednesday as they support other families whose lives have been turned upside down by childhood cancer.
May 20 is Wig Wednesday, a fundraising campaign by CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families.
Thousands of people of all ages, across schools, businesses and communities will be donning wigs for the day to raise money and show support for children and young people with cancer, many of whom lose their hair through gruelling cancer treatment.
Six-year-old Zofeya Dorgu and her family, from Dunstable, are taking part in this year’s Wig Wednesday after being supported by CLIC Sargent. The little girl was diagnosed with a brain tumour in July 2013 and after 18 months of gruelling treatment the family was told she was finally in remission.
Zofeya’s mum Noemi, a photographer, said: “I had no experience of childhood cancer before Zofeya became ill. It wasn’t something I really thought about. But when you’re on the ward and you see all these little kids who are so ill, babies with cancer, it’s so distressing.
Just knowing CLIC Sargent is there for all those families, like they’ve been there for us, is really reassuring.
“So please wear a wig this Wig Wednesday and help other children with cancer!
“Zofeya’s always had beautiful long, curly hair and she was quite upset when it started to fall out, so we decided that we would both go to the salon and get our hair shaved off. I didn’t think it was fair for me to have long hair when she had to lose her lovely curls.”
Amber Whiston and her family, from Sheffield, have been supported by the charity since the five-year-old was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010. Sadly, the cancer returned 18 months ago and Amber has had to face many more months of gruelling treatment which is still continuing.
She has posed in her vibrant red wig to help raise awareness of other children and families going through cancer. Her mum Lara said the CLIC Sargent team that has supported the family “has made a living nightmare easier to bear”.
“CLIC Sargent is a charity that means a lot to us and I really hope that people in our home city and right across Yorkshire will sign up for this amazing charity on 20 May. With your help and support we can help even more children and young people like Amber – so please get involved!” she said.
Thirteen-year-old Addie Brady from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, will also be donning a wig next Wednesday. She was diagnosed with bone cancer when she was just nine years old and had to have a limb salvage operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. During treatment she had to give up the sports she loved and lost her hair. She is now in remission.
Addie said: “CLIC Sargent was there for me during my treatment. Sam, my CLIC Sargent social worker was like a big sister visiting me regularly in hospital. I'm supporting Wig Wednesday with my friends and family to help families and children with cancer get the support they need."
Pete and Elisha's story
Plymouth pals Pete Jerrett, 20, who is being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and Elisha Searl, 22, who is in remission from acute myeloid leukaemia, have been encouraging as many people as possible to get involved with Wig Wednesday.
Elisha, who writes a blog about her cancer experience called A Spoon Full of Sugar, said: “CLIC Sargent have supported me and my family hugely since my diagnosis and I now feel that it is my turn to give back, so I have been volunteering a lot with the charity. I am a huge supporter of CLIC Sargent's events and Wig Wednesday is an event for everyone to get involved and have lots of fun.”
Kiren Fernandes, CLIC Sargent Fundraising Campaigns Manager, said: “All the children and young people supporting the campaign look fantastic in their wigs and we’re delighted they are joining in the fun and backing Wig Wednesday 2015.
“The funds raised from Wig Wednesday provide vital support for the families supported by CLIC Sargent, including social workers and nurses who can visit children and young people at home and provide emotional and practical support, and free accommodation, near hospitals during treatment.”
To find out more about how you can get involved in Wig Wednesday 2015 call 08451 212 492 or visit www.clicsargent.org.uk/wigwednesday
Wig Wednesday 2015 is sponsored by MFS Investment Management and the official Wig Partner is party stockist Smiffys.