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Thursday, 26 November 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

Schoolgirl and mum to brave head shave to raise vital funds

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JENNIFER Jarrett and mum, Robyn, 42 years, will be losing their locks to raise money for both Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity and the British Heart Foundation.

The duo will also donate their hair to The Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides wigs for children battling cancer.

The plucky youngster, who is facing further surgery, came up with the idea of shaving off her 18 inches blonde locks in front of her friends at Talavera Junior School in Aldershot, Hampshire, and roped in her mother.

Jennifer said:

“I decided that I wanted to shave my hair to say thank you to all the hospital staff who have worked so bravely during the pandemic to keep us all safe.

“They looked after me very well when I was poorly at the beginning of this year and I want to do something to say thank you.

“I also wanted to help the British Heart Foundation because they carry out research to help people with a dodgy ticker like me.”

Jennifer was just six months old when she had her first surgery after being born with pulmonary and aortic stenosis, which results in the valves being incompetent due to the backflow of blood. The valves will need to be replaced, so she will need further surgery in the next few years.

She also had a large hole in her heart (Ventricular Septal Defect) at birth.

Jennifer is not alone in her family in suffering complications with her heart.

Her older brother, Nicholas, aged 15 years, also has a heart condition, which has seen him have surgery three times, most recently when he was 12 years old. Jennifer’s grandparents and an uncle have also experienced heart attacks.

Paddy Walsh, a retired Cardiac Liaison Sister, who looked after Jennifer for many years, said:

“Jennifer has complex heart problems and has undergone many painful procedures.

“She has never allowed these problems to stop her from doing anything.

“When I learnt of her latest plans I was speechless at the thought of Jennifer without her lovely long blonde hair.

“It didn’t take me long to realise that this was so typical of Jennifer, always wanting to help others despite her own difficulties.”

The double head shave will take place at Talavera Junior School, where Mum, Robyn, who works at Royal Surrey, is a parent governor, on July 16.

Headteacher, Amanda Webb, said:

“We are really proud of Jennifer for showing real community spirit and support for such important charities.

“She is an extremely determined young lady and a shining example of Talavera values.”

To sponsor the pair please visit their JustGiving page.

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