Sister’s sacrifice for brave Harrison
ATEENAGER whose younger brother has been diagnosed with leukemia is having her waist-length hair cut to make a wig.
Bryony Booth’s sixyear-old brother Harrison has spent the last five weeks at a children’s hospital receiving chemotherapy and steroids to help him battle cancer.
The Haslingden High pupil, from Helmshore, is fundraising for Ronald McDonald Charities because her family has stayed in their accommodation while Harrison has been on Ward 84 at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Her 21-inch plait will be cut in front of friends after Easter and sent to the Little Princess Trust to make wigs for children being treated for cancer.
Helmshore St Veronica’s RC Primary pupil Harrison was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at the end of February half term while the family were staying in County Durham with their nan and grandad.
After receiving blood and platelet transfusions in Newcastle to stabilise him, he was transferred to Manchester and since then the family’s life has been turned upside down.
His parents Richard and Catherine run Broadway Childminding in Helmshore, but one of them has had to stay with him full time with him in hospital.
The family, including Alexander, eight, have visited whenever possible.
Bryony, 13, said: “It has been hard having our family separated, but we have managed to spend every weekend together thanks to Ronald McDonald House.
“My mum has been taught how to give him his medicine and feed him using a tube in his nose so he can come home when he is stable, but he will have to go back to hospital every week for chemotherapy.
“He gets really upset about having his picture taken because he has lost his hair.
“My dad has previously done the Macmillan Brave the Shave and wanted to support Harrison by shaving his head again, but Harrison didn’t want him to do it.
“He agreed for me to do it because I am only having my hair cut short.
“When I was seven or eight I had my hair cut to shoulder-length and have been growing it ever since. This will be the first time I have had it so short.”
Harrison will be given intensive treatment over the next six months and then a more gentle ‘maintenance’ treatment for three years.
He will then need regular check-ups for many years.
● Bryony Booth is having her waist-length hair cut to make a wig for a child and (inset) with brother Harrison, six, who has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia