Fleur Guyton
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Shaving my head to beat blood cancer

Fleur Guyton
Posted by
04 Dec 2014

In November 1998, just days after my 4th birthday, I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). I underwent two years of chemotherapy at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital and three weeks of punishing radiotherapy at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. During this time, due to my treatment, I lost my hair.

As a result of having encountered radiotherapy, it grew back in patches. My hair failed to naturally regain which had a huge impact on the next 8 years of my life. I was severely bullied by narrow minded, and self-centred individuals who saw me as different and used it as an opportunity to humiliate and belittle me as I was not seen to be "perfect". I endured 8 years of being taunted with cruel names and chants, the effects of this undermined my confidence to the point where I no longer wanted to go to school and my attendance fell as low as 40%.

No one deserves to be afraid of going to school, work or to just walk down the street as our lives need not be defined nor shaped by the views of others.

Now at 19 I no longer feel ashamed of having lost my hair and have chosen to share my story with you. I want to raise awareness not only for fighting leukaemia but what others like me have to endure. Having been in remission for 14 years and with thanks to the Ailsbury Hair Clinic who have enabled me to take control of this situation though applying density to my own hair I now no longer have to depend upon hair extensions either.

There are so many people out there who don’t realize how serious blood cancers are, I have been one of the lucky ones. This is why it is so important that research continues. For this reason, I have decided to "Shave for cancer" and to try and raise as much money as I possibly can in aid of fighting leukaemia. The shave itself is to take place in London and will be done by Tony Rizzo, Founder of the Alternative Hair Show and its charity fighting leukaemia which has raised more than £8 million raised for leukaemia causes worldwide, not least Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, UK since Tony set it up in 1983.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my story and I hope that you will help me on this journey to raise awareness and help beat this disease.

Fleur has set herself a fundraising target of £1000 for her headshave. Visit her JustGiving page to make a donation to help Fleur beat blood cancer.

Comments

Anonymous
27.11.2014

I myself went through APML3 Acute Myeloid Leukaemia back in July 1999, I was 19 at the time. I had 4 intense courses of chemo from which I was in isolation 4-8 weeks each course. It was very hard as had a bad experience as was sent away by my doctors about 8-9 times saying I am wasting time etc....
Anyway after lots of side affects, bleeding in stomach & fluid on lungs & lots of other things. I beat it & didn't need a Transplant thankfully xx They did take my own bone marrow & freeze it up to 10 years in case of any relapse. Touch wood all is good I go up to see Prof Mufti every year still as don't trust Medway Hospital. I found out in March 2009 that due to my chemo I am going through early menopause it broke my heart, but I'm grateful I beat Cancer. I also have a twin sis who is my ROCK. I'm always here if anyone ever wishes to chat xx xx

15.12.2014

Hi Fleur

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and writing such a heart felt and honest blog about experiences which sound truly awful and challenging on top of what is already a terribly hard time. I am so sorry bullies made you go through all of that in addition to what you were already dealing with, but I am really glad you now feel more confident about yourself and that you are in a place where you can now talk and share your experiences. I am sure this blog will help others who may be going through, or have previously gone through, similar experiences, so thank you very, very much for writing your story down for us. How fantastic that you are fundraising for leukaemia causes - thank you, I hope the head shave went well! I think it was an amazing idea. I wish you all the luck in the world moving forward and I hope to read ore fom you in the future, 

Seasons greetings!