10:10am Friday 6th April 2012
When it comes to helping children who have lost their hair, Leslie Tuck is a cut above.
The Skipton solicitor has donated more than 4ft of her hair to charities which provide wigs for children suffering hair loss due to conditions such as cancer and alopecia.
Leslie, who moved here from New York, originally started donating her hair to an American charity, Locks of Love.
Recently, she had 12ins of hair cut, which she has donated to the Little Princess Trust, a British charity that creates wigs made from human hair for children with medically-related baldness.
“A dear friend of mine had alopecia and when I heard about Locks of Love I decided to donate some hair,” said Leslie. “I’ve done it every three years since – enough time for my hair to grow long enough.
“When I moved here I used to mail my hair back to Locks of Love in America, then I looked for a UK charity that did a similar thing and I discovered the Little Princess Trust.
“I have made four donations of hair – about a metre-and-a-half – altogether. The most I’ve had cut off is 15 inches.”
Leslie said human hair was used for wigs because it is more comfortable. “It’s cooler than synthetic hair and it looks more authentic,” she said.
“Unless you have a child who has this kind of illness, or you know someone who has been affected, you don’t appreciate how devastating it is. To have a child with a serious illness is terrible enough, but when they lose their hair it can be particularly traumatic.
“For children with alopecia, if they wear a hat a lot of people assume they have cancer.”
Leslie has also been raising funds through sponsorship.
“My firm, Bywaters Topham Phillips in Harrogate, has sponsored me,” she said.
* For more about the Little Princess Trust visit littleprincesses.org.uk.
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