AILA-MAE Ford has dreamed of being Rapunzel all of her life and was growing her hair so she could look like her favourite princess.
But when her grandmother, Viv Ford, lost her battle with bowel cancer earlier this year, the seven-year-old decided that she wanted to do something to help children suffering from the disease.
“Sadly my lovely grandma died from cancer in March this year,” explains Aila- Mae, from Southampton.
“And I miss her very much.
“Since this happened I have found out more about the disease she had and I found out that it can affect children too.
“This made me feel very sad and I wanted to do something to help.
“My mummy found out that there is a charity that makes wigs for little girls and boys that have cancer and have lost all their hair because of the medicine they have to take to try and make them better.”
Once Aila-Mae heard about the Little Princess Trust and what they do, she decided to have her long locks chopped off so it could be made into a wig for a child who had lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
“I decided to have all my hair chopped off, from my shoulders to my bottom, to send to the charity,” says Aila-Mae, who has an eight-year-old brother, Brandon.
“But I wanted to raise some money too – to help make even more wigs – as each one costs around £2,000 if they don’t get enough donated hair.
Mum Adrienne says: “I really didn’t want her to do it. She has been growing her hair for so long. I tried to talk her out of it for two weeks but she was so determined.
“It’s a very good cause and I am very proud of her. We all have a Viv shaped hole in our hearts and she would have loved this because she was so selfless, she was always one to give to others.”
“I’m growing my hair again now,” says the Valentine Primary School pupil. “So that when it is long enough I can donate it all over again.
“I think my grandma would be proud of me!”
If you would like to donate to the Little Princess Trust on behalf of Aila-Mae, please visit justgiving.com/Aila-Mae.