Brave Megan makes dying mum proud

Eleven-year-old Megan Patchett, with her mum Gemma Whitehead, who has raised over �1000 for Macmillan.
Eleven-year-old Megan Patchett, with her mum Gemma Whitehead, who has raised over �1000 for Macmillan.

A terminally ill mother-of-two has spoken of the pride she has for her little girl who had her hair shaved off to raise money for a hospital cancer ward.

Gemma Whitehead, 32, of Lee Mount, Halifax, was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2013 and was subsequently given the ‘all clear’ twice.

But her world was torn apart in February when she was told there was nothing medics could do to save her from the cancer that had spread to her vulva and lungs.

The loving mother says she cannot imagine a life without her little girls, Megan, 11, and Phoebe, 4, who both attend Lee Mount Primary School, Halifax.

“I’m so proud of her - when she first said she wanted to do it I begged her not to as I didn’t want her to be bullied but she was determined to do it. She said ‘if the nurses are helping you, I want to help other people like you’,” she said.

A determined Megan has raised £1,000 from sponsorship and a bucket collection at nearby Lee Mount Club for Calderdale Royal’s MacMillan Cancer Unit to help provide care for patients.

Megan said: “My mum didn’t want me to do it and my grandad Nigel said he would give me £10 a week not to shave off my hair. But I wanted to do this, even though I knew I would get even more of a hard time at school, because it’s for a good cause.

“I’m proud of myself and so proud my mum’s still fighting strong.”

Gemma says her girls are the only reason she wakes up every day and they have kept her going in some of the darkest hours of her life.

She says Megan, who understands what’s going on, has been a big help around the house and she’s proud of her daughter’s maturity and confidence.

“I hope in the future there will be a cure for cancer and hope my girls go through life without being diagnosed with the disease,” said Gemma.