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Stourton family to lose their locks for charity
4:00pm Thursday 6th March 2014 in News
THE family of a Stourton teenager battling a rare form of cancer are showing their support by shaving their hair off.
What 13-year-old Imogen Westwood thought was normal teenage aches and pains was actually a sign of something more sinister.
Last month, Imogen, of Bridgnorth Road, was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a cancer that develop in the supporting tissues of the body.
The brave youngster, who attends Summerhill School in Kingswinford, is currently undergoing chemotherapy to target the tumour in her upper chest.
Her father, Andrew Westwood, said: "Once the chemo is over we are hoping that she will be sent to America for proton treatment. In all, her treatment will take about a year and we are deeply hopeful that it is completely successful.
"All the same, Imogen knows that she will have to remain under observation for years to come."
He continued: "Her outlook is good, but anyone who has been through or known someone who has had chemotherapy will tell you that it is an unforgiving form of treatment.
" She has already had to return for an unexpected stay in hospital in the last week, as she caught an infection between chemo sessions."
Watching Imogen cope with the disease has spurned her father, brother Alistair and several other family members and friends to lose their locks and raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Mr Westwood added: "The trust recognises that children of this age group have to cope with so many things - not least the illness itself but also the way it impacts their social life and education, its effects on their appearance - like losing their hair and the feelings of isolation and 'why me' that come to the fore.
"The charity tries to smooth the way for families hit by this devastating disease. They have built a specialist unit at Birmingham Children's Hospital, where Imogen is being cared for, but it has only limited places for what is sadly a growing number of kids affected by cancer."
The family look set to generate a staggering amount of money for the charity, as Alistair, aged 17, who has an impressive head of hair, has already raised more than £2,000.
Alistair said: "The support people have shown for Imogen has been incredible and we're very proud to have raised so much. My sister is normally a very active girl, horse riding and being a stable hand are her two greatest passions and she is unaccustomed to being ill.
"I'm proud to say that she is upbeat and positive about this."
The head shave will take place on Sunday March 23 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Summerhill, Kingswinford from 4pm to 6pm.
Anyone is welcome to attend on the day and indulge in home-made cakes in return for donations.
To sponsor Alistair and the team, visit www.justgiving.com/alistairwestwood.
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