13-year-old ‘frustrated’ by her uncle’s cancer is up for Young Citizen award

Ionie shows off her new short style. Her hair was cut by stylist Stavroulla Hoxha in Inspirations hairdressers, South...

Ionie shows off her new short style. Her hair was cut by stylist Stavroulla Hoxha in Inspirations hairdressers, South Woodford. - Credit: Archant

A 13-year-old girl who said she felt “frustrated” seeing her uncle suffering from cancer and not being able to help, has had her hair cut off for charity.

Ionie Wheeler said she had so much hair and some ill children have none, that she wanted to help them feel better about themselves.

She had her luscious locks, which will be made into a wig for a child with cancer, cut off on Friday.

Her decision to try and help other children has this week seen her nominated for the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award, sponsored by Exchange Ilford.

Ionie said: “My uncle was diagnosed with cancer in July last year and I wanted to do something to help as I felt frustrated that he was suffering.

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“He was so funny and quite eccentric. Once he painted his bike with leopard spots.”

After her uncle Jonny died aged 45 in February, Ionie, of Primrose Road, South Woodford, researched what she could do to make a difference.

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It was then that she found the Little Princess Trust which makes wigs for children with cancer.

Ionie said: “There was a video on their website about a girl who was having chemo and woke up everyday with lots of hair on her pillow.

“I thought it was a nice thing to do as I have so much hair and other kids don’t have any hair at all.”

She had her hair cut off at Inspiration, George Lane, South Woodford and the hair will now be processed before being made into a wig.

She said her friend at her school at Woodbridge High School, St Barnabas Road, Woodford Green has been very supportive of her plans.

“All my friends think it’s really great and I’ve had lots of positive feedback saying I’m an inspiration,” she added. “My parents said it was a very worthwhile thing to do and are very proud of me.”

Ionie started fundraising in late January and already has raised more than £1,000 which she will give to the Little Princess Trust.

If you would like to make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/IonieWheeler.

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