Brave grandmother inspires daughter and granddaughter to have their heads shaved for children’s cancer charity

Mary J Nash
Mary J Nash
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The family of a brave grandmother who lost her battle with leukaemia will be having their heads shaved to raise money for charity.

Mary J Nash was diagnosed with acute myoid leukaemia at the end of last year and died on January 17.

Mary J Nash

Mary J Nash

Her daughter, Samantha Allington, will mark what would have been Mary’s 62nd birthday on July 17, and the six-month anniversary of her death, with a fund-raising event to raise money in conjunction with Samantha’s 12-year-old daughter, Rebecca. Both have pledged to shave off their hair to support a charity that gives wigs to children going through cancer treatment.

Samantha said: “My mum was an amazing, positive and inspirational woman with a very strong character, she was one of a kind and remembered by many.

“In her younger years she served in the Royal Air Force, spending five years posted in Cyprus. Due to her fitness levels and strong swimming ability, she was accepted as the oldest recruit volunteer by the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol and this became her passion in the last year of her life.

“Born in Consett, Country Durham and raised in Northampton by her parents James and Olvina O’neill, my mum had a thing for always finding a way to break the rules, but only because of her own strong personal values that weren’t always in line with the Status Quo, although she was never a law breaker.

“She liked to always walk a different path to others and was always an amazingly supportive and loyal friend to others.

“My daughter suggested that she’d like to do something in memory of her nanny on her birthday this year.

“Because Rebecca has personally lost two people she cared for this year to cancer she decided she wanted to raise money for a cancer charity and asked me if she could shave her hair off and donate it for wigs.

“A friend then suggested that she donate her hair at the same time as raising money and said there was a children’s cancer charity that provided the wigs free of charge to children who had lost their hair through cancer treatment, called Little Princess Trust.

“Immediately Rebecca decided that was exactly what she wanted to do, especially as we had seen my own mum lose her hair and could only imagine how distressing this might for her, let alone for a child.

“Although I am anxious about my daughter having all her hair shaved off, I know she is certain about her decision and is confident and prepared for afterwards.

“To show my support and make it a little easier for her, I decided I would support her and also honor my mum’s memory by having my hair shaved off at the same time.

“I have been fundraising myself for difference causes since late 2010 when my youngest daughter spent time in our local special care baby unit and I began working closely with Theresa Wright to raise money for Gosset Ward, since then I have had a stillborn daughter and several miscarriages and so also support various baby loss charities, in particular Daddys With Angels who I am the secretary for and my own support group that I run called Snowdrop Babies,” she said.

If you would like to support their appeal, visit their Just Giving page.