Girl,11, cuts long hair to support mum with cancer

Maggie's plan: The 11-year-old wanted to support her mum, Klare

Maggie's plan: The 11-year-old wanted to support her mum, Klare - Credit: Klare Walsh

An 11-year old schoolgirl cut off 15 inches of her hair for charity in solidarity with her mum who is undergoing chemotherapy. 

Maggie Gentili-Walsh, who attends Sacred Heart Catholic school in Holloway, donated her hair and raised more than £2,800 for The Little Princess Trust. 

As well as research, the charity provides free, real-hair wigs for young cancer sufferers made from hair donations like Maggie’s. 

Klare Walsh, Maggie’s mum, was diagnosed with stage 3b ovarian cancer in January and started chemotherapy in March. 

“Maggie has watched me struggle to come to terms with possibly losing my hair. I’m sure you can appreciate it’s quite a big, emotional step to acknowledge having your hair fall out in terms of cancer treatment.” she said. 

Since her diagnosis, Maggie and her two brothers Jack, 14 and George, 12 have been “rocks”, Klare said. 

Maggie said: “I was trying to think of a way to help support my mum during her fight against cancer and one of the things that I could do was cut off my hair. 

Maggie gets ready for the haircut

Before: Maggie gets ready for the haircut - Credit: Klare Walsh

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“I used to have really really long hair, I had never cut it in my life.

“I liked the idea that the money was used to make wigs and my hair would be used to make a wig too because the wigs are pretty expensive.”

Supervised by hairdressers, Maggie’s brothers cut one ponytail of her hair each on April 4 at Belli Fuori salon in Hackney. 

In addition to her hair donation, Maggie raised money for the charity on an online Just Giving page. 

“People were touched by what she was saying. We were really overwhelmed by the support. I think in the first 24 hours she had already reached just under £1,500.” Klare said.

She said: “She’s braver than me, let’s just put it that way. I don't have the guts to shave my hair even though it's falling out and yet she took it upon herself to cut her hair, raise an extraordinary amount of money and show me that it’s ok.

“As cliché as it sounds, I feel very proud.”