Humanitarian AidCancer survivor student donates Hair to childhood Cancer sufferers

Cancer survivor student donates Hair to childhood Cancer sufferers

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UAE- February 2024- Aurelia Reeves, a Grade 5 pupil at the leading IB boarding school in the region, Al Jadaf-based Swiss International School Dubai, recently marked the anniversary of her stem cell treatment by donating her hair to wig charity Little Princess Trust, helping other young people with cancer.

Aurelia, who was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) when she was just four months old, survived, but part of her treatment involved receiving 50 litres of blood in a stem cell donor treatment.

The plucky youngster, now sporting a bob, grew her hair as long as possible – as long-haired wigs are most in demand – before having some 33cms cut off while raising sponsorship money for the act. She previously shaved her head, along with her teacher, in 2022, donating funds to the wig charity.

And through raising awareness of childhood diseases and their effects on children, three of her thoughtful classmates, Sofija, Alena and Emma, have also been inspired to grow out and donate their hair since Aurelia’s first donation back in Grade 3, two years ago.

Sofia and Alena underwent a charity haircut last year, while Emma had her locks trimmed for children’s wigs on the same day as Aurelia. Aurelia’s school friends, family and the wider community have donated some AED11,000, which is being shared with the Al Jalila Foundation, the medical education and research charity founded by HH Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2013, and her hair is going to The Little Princess Trust, a UK-headquartered charity that provides real hair wigs, free of charge, to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer.

Head of Primary, Shona Gastaldi says: “Aurelia’s story is truly inspirational to the entire SISD community. She is a credit to our school and her passion for charitable causes – including animal welfare and environmental issues – is infectious. Aurelia’s drive, kindness and selflessness epitomise what it means to be a Global Citizen at our school.

The fact that her enthusiasm for the cause has now had tangible impact on her classmates and the school is precisely the attitude that deserves recognition, and that we wish to inculcate across the school. The support, camaraderie and understanding are certainly qualities to be celebrated.”

Swiss International School Dubai aims to arm pupils with the knowledge, skills and confidence to approach adult life as truly global citizens, through its IB curriculum and multi-lingual teaching approach, and Aurelia exudes the positivity, strength and humility SISD pupils are all encouraged to develop.

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