Leyland woman to shave hair for her niece who has NMO

Imogen Stanway with a guide dog at hospital
Imogen Stanway with a guide dog at hospital
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A devoted aunt is having her long locks shaved in solidarity for her niece who will need chemotherapy for an autoimmune disease.

Emma Barrow will have her head shaved at Morrisons, in Leyland, on Saturday November 24 to raise funds for NMO Spectrum, to show support for her 12-year-old niece Imogen Stanway, who was diagnosed with NMO.

Emma Barrow

Emma Barrow

Imogen, of Heysham, had become ill in February, losing the ability to walk, talk or move her limbs. She struggled to swallow and even needed assistance to breath.

Following several tests, in May, she was diagnosed with NMO, an autoimmune disease where the antibodies attack the brain and in Imogen’s case the brain stem.

Doctors at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital placed her on an immune suppressant and high dosage of steroids to bring the disease under control but it has been so far unsuccessful.

The next step is a six-month course of chemotherapy, where she is likely to lose her hair.

Imogen Stanway

Imogen Stanway

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Emma, 37, from Leyland, said: “There is a high chance that when Imogen has chemotherapy she will lose her hair. I thought if I did this, when the time comes she will not be as scared as I will also have no hair.

“She has absolutely beautiful hair and she is gutted. She has put on weight with the steroids and it has made her feel self conscious about her appearance.

“Imogen thinks I am crazy for doing this but she is very proud of me. I am nervous, but also quite excited. I am overwhelmed by people coming forward with support. I want to raise money to help another child get a quicker diagnosis. I have already raised £650 on my JustGiving page and so I am hoping to raise £1,000. I am the cafe manager at Morrisons and I am hoping for bosses to match fund what I raise.”

To make a donation visit http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emma-barrow7