25/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 19:00

Little Princess Trust donates 1,000th wig

Category: England

Published: 27th Dec 2011 12:56:42

A charity set up in memory of a five-year-old girl who died from cancer has donated its 1,000th wig to help children with cancer-related hair loss.

The Little Princess Trust was founded by the parents of Hannah Tarplee from Herefordshire after she died from a form of kidney cancer in June 2005.

Her father Simon said Hannah had found it particularly upsetting to lose her hair and they wanted to help others.

The 1,000th wig was donated to a nine-year-old girl from London.

The girl was recently diagnosed with cancer and began chemotherapy the week before Christmas.

Mr Tarplee said: "Finding out your child has cancer is an immensely difficult time for any parent.

"The last thing you want to be doing is ringing up lots of different companies to source a wig.

"We wish something like this had been available for Hannah."

The charity uses a wig maker in Hove and each wig costs about £500.

It also helps children like Emily Edwards, now 10, who was diagnosed with the hair loss condition Alopecia Areata at the age of two.

The wig she received for Christmas in 2009 gave her the confidence to socialise again, her mother Nicola Edwards, from Britton Ferry, near Neath in Wales, said.

Mr Tarplee said real hair was more comfortable to wear, easier to maintain and looked less obviously like a wig.

A lot of the hair is donated by the charity's own patrons. The only hair type the charity struggles to source is from the African Caribbean community.

The charity began by advertising its wigs through contacts the family had made at Birmingham Children's Hospital, where Hannah was treated.

Now it has its own office based at Hereford Cathedral Junior School and has links with hair salons throughout the UK which it refers the children to, to be fitted with and collect their wigs from.

Co-founder Wendy Tarplee-Morris said: "We've had so many lovely letters and cards from the children we've helped.

"Some people say it is the thing that has made the most positive difference during their illness."

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