A BRAVE four-year-old girl with leukaemia has donated her hair to help other cancer sufferers.
Agatha King, from Cupar, has donated her long blonde hair to The Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for children who lose their hair during cancer treatment.
The nursery pupil was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia just under two weeks ago and has already requested hair like Disney princess Elsa from Frozen when the effects of chemotherapy mean she too will need her own wig.
Agatha’s family have also raised more than £2,000 for charity since their daughter’s diagnosis, reaching their target of £200 in just twenty minutes.
Agatha’s mum Karen, 39, praised her daughter’s decision to donate her hair to help other cancer victims.
She said: “One of the first things we were told was that she would definitely lose her hair. I personally found this devastating, and I think I’ve become hair obsessed since - she has very blonde thick hair which is almost down to her bottom when she puts her head back.
“She asked me if she will look like a boy and I said yes you will do for a little while, and she replied “that’s OK I’m going to give my hair to someone else when they need it and they’re going to give me hair when I need it.” She also asked if she could have pink hair or Elsa hair.
“All in all she’s been incredible,” she added.
Agatha’s hair was cut on Tuesday afternoon by Jason Miller from Charlie Miller Hairdressing, who came to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, where she is being treated.
Karen, who is pregnant and also has a two-year-old son, initially suspected her daughter’s tiredness and stomach complaints could be down to a food intolerance, but took her straight to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy after noticing a rash on her daughter’s arm that she worried may be meningitis.
Just one hour after Agatha had her blood tested, Karen and her husband Kevin, 45, were left devastated after being told their daughter most likely had blood cancer leukaemia.
Karen said: “I just burst into tears and collapsed on the sofa. There was nothing more the consultant could say, the blow was delivered.
“We were in total shock. I felt sick and couldn’t stop crying. Our gorgeous, perfect, clever little girl was really really sick. It’s not a possibility that even enters your head, from a suspected dairy intolerance to maybe meningitis to leukaemia was devastating.”
The family, who also have a two-year-old son, were transferred to Edinburgh’s Sick Kids, where Agatha had a bone marrow sample taken and lumber puncture. Two days later the consultant’s confirmed she had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Karen said: “We have told her she has leukaemia as the doctors advised using the proper words as she will hear them, but I have to say to us it’s a bit like when they say Voldermort in Harry Potter - we’re much happier saying poorly blood so it doesn’t seem so scary for her or for us”.
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is the most common type of cancer to affect children in Scotland and approximately one in every 2,000 children will develop it. More than three quarters of cases occur in children aged under 15, mostly between the ages of two and five years old and around 85% of children treated for the disease will be completely cured.
The King family are hoping to raise further funds for The Princess Trust charity and have set up a Just Giving page.
Karen added: “I set up a Just Giving page that reached her target within 20 mins, that again reduced me to tears. I have a friend who’s daughter is also going to have her hair cut and donated as a boy in her class has been diagnosed with leukaemia as well as my daughter.”
The family’s charity fundraising page is - https://www.justgiving.com/Karen-King12/