Tue, Sep 28, 2021
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Cousins show solidarity for Luke  

Aoife O’Brien

THREE Northside cousins have decided to cut 14 inches off their hair to make wigs for children who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatment.

Lila Elliott (8), from Belmayne, Zara Shanley (10), from Swords and Sophia Nolan (10), from Balbriggan, decided to cut their hair for wigs after Zara’s older brother, Luke, was diagnosed with a brain tumour last April.

Luke, who was only 12 when diagnosed with his illness, had his first surgery on Good Friday in 2019. He underwent chemotherapy and shaved his head after his hair started to fall out. 

In solidarity, a number of Luke’s friends also shaved their heads and his sister Zara and cousin Sophia shaved the corner of one side of their heads.

However, when Luke had to undergo another surgery last November to remove some more tumour and was told he would have to do another year of chemotherapy starting in January, the three girls decided they wanted to do something more.

After deciding to cut their hair to make wigs they also decided to set up a GoFundMe account to raise funds for Barretstown children’s charity.

The charity, which offers specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness, invited Luke and his family to the facility last year.

According to Luke’s aunt, Lisa Green, whose daughter Lila is one of the girls raising money for Barretstown, “the trip is something the family really needed and the support they received there was astounding” so it was the natural choice of charity to support. 

However, this is not the first time the family have raised money for a charity who have supported them through their difficult journey.

During the summer Luke’s parents held a fundraiser for Aoibheann’s Pink Tie and the Irish Cancer Society where they sold ribbons and organised a sweet sale.

Lila, Zara and Sophia will be holding an event to cut their hair at Craobh Chiarains GAA Club in Donnycarney this Saturday, February 29.

Lisa said she is incredibly proud of her daughter Lila and her two nieces Zara and Sophia for what they are doing for Luke and all other children who are suffering with similar illnesses. 

“I have to pull myself back sometimes, I get very emotional when I think about it,” she told Northside People.

“It’s such a huge thing for them to do, and for them all to be on the same page. it is incredible and just shows how much Luke has inspired them.” 

The cousins’ GoFundMe page has already raised almost four times their target amount, having reached €3,907 since it was first created on January 28.

They are hoping to raise even more money for their chosen charity at the event where they will have donation cards and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses.

If you would like to make a donation to the fundraiser, it can be found by searching Cousins Cut for Barretstown on GoFundMe and any businesses that would like to donate to the raffle, can contact lisa.greene2@mail.dcu.ie to get involved. 

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