A YOUNG girl suffering from three rare health syndromes has raised over £1,400 for child cancer patients.
Brave Abbi Forrester, eight, has been battling an extremely rare combination of syndromes which have left her face paralysed since birth.
She has never smiled or frowned, is unable to open or closer her eyes, and also has club feet, a misshapen tongue and missing chest muscle.
But despite her many problems, the eight year old has found the time and energy to raise over £1,400 for a charity which provides wigs to children who have lost their hair in treatment.
And she has even gone as far as sitting in the barber’s chair herself – donating more than half of her waist-length chair to the charity.
Abbi, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, suffers from the one-in-a-million Carey Fineman Ziter syndrome, which is a combination of other rare syndromes.
Moebius syndrome has paralysed her face since birth, meaning she is unable to form expressions.
Meanwhile she is also suffering from Poland syndrome – meaning she has a small right hand and missing chest muscles – and Pierre Robin Syndrome – resulting in a small bottom jaw, and a misshapen palate and tongue.
She is also currently undergoing treatment for club feet.
But Abbi decided to raise cash and donate her hair to charity when she found out her friend’s baby sister had lost hers after being struck down by leukaemia.
Abbi’s friend Sienna Jackson recently moved to Saudi Arabia with her family – but just three weeks later her two year old sister Darci was diagnosed with the bone cancer.
So on Monday Abbi, a P4 student at Capshard Primary School, had more than half of her waist-length hair chopped off at a local hairdresser.
She made the decision to donate it to the Little Princess Trust (LPT) – a cancer charity which makes wigs for children like Darci who have lost their hair in treatment.
Linda Forrester, Abbi’s mother, said: “Abbi and I were looking at pictures of Sienna and Darci in Saudi Arabia on Facebook to let her see what life was like out there, when she started asking questions about Darci – like what happened to her and where had her hair gone.
“She asked me if it would grow back in again and if there was anything we could do to help her – and that’s where the idea of having her hair cut to make into a wig came from.
“It was Darci who inspired her to do this, and i am very proud that she wanted to help others, considering what she is going through herself.
Linda explained that Abbi experienced some last-minute nerves in the salon chair on Monday – but that she now loves her new hairstyle.
Abbi said she donated the hair because Darci “didn’t feel very well and didn’t have any hair.”
“I wanted her to feel better”, she added.
Her brave actions have also inspired two friends to donate their hair to the same charity.
And she also set about raising cash for the charity online – already collecting over £1,400 in sponsorship, which will allow the charity to pay for three more wigs.
Monica Glass, charity manager for LPT, said: “Everyone at the Little Princess Trust is amazed that someone as young as Abbi has taken it upon themselves to do so much for others. What a wonderful little girl!
“Thanks to her kind supporters Abbi has raised enough for the charity to purchase real hair wigs for three poorly children. Her beautiful hair will be blended with other similar donations and will be made into a further wig for another child.
“I would like to thank Abbi sincerely for making such a positive difference to the lives of others.”
Linda explained that Abbi had benefited from a number of fundraising campaigns for her own condition over the years.
“Until now all the fundraising has been for Abbi”, she said, “so for her to want to do this for others was really nice.”