Inspiring Cancer Survivor, Grade 3 Student in Dubai, Cut Hair to Help Others

Inspiring Cancer Survivor, Grade 3 Student in Dubai, Cut Hair to Help Others

  • Grade 3 Swiss International School Dubai Student cut her hair to make wigs for other children with cancer
  • Teacher had his head shaved in class in support of student fundraising

Dubai: Aurelia Reeves a Grade 3 pupil (age 9) at Swiss International School Dubai, decided to mark the anniversary of her stem cell transplant by donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust, helping other young people with cancer. Aurelia, who was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) when she was just 4 months old, survived, but part of her treatment involved receiving over 50 liters of blood donations prior to a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor. 

The thoughtful youngster decided to grow her hair as long as possible – as long-haired wigs are most in-demand – before having it cut off while raising sponsorship money for the act.

Her friends and family have so far managed to donate EUR1600 (Dhs6,700), and she hopes to raise EUR2000 (Dhs8,300) for her charitable anniversary act.

And when teacher, Mark Swaine heard about Aurelia’s brave fundraising mission, he decided to join in, letting the 9-year-old pupil shave his head in front of all her classmates!

Aurelia says she is keen to make a difference, and ensure she radiates positivity as a result of her personal experiences with cancer and stem cell transplantation.

She says: “I am so excited that I have been able to have this opportunity to increase the awareness and importance of stem cell donations. It saved my life, literally, and I will forever be grateful for that. I would love for residents of the UAE to be able to register as donors to take part.

“I am really enjoying my new short hair and everyone is saying how nice it looks!”

Samantha Hodges, Wellbeing Co-ordinator and Primary Deputy at SISD add: “Aurelia’s story has inspired us all at SISD. She is a credit to our school and her passion for charitable causes – including animal welfare and environmental issues – is infectious. Aurelia is the epitome of what it means to be a Global Citizen. We are so proud of her.”

Swiss International School Dubai aims to arm pupils with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to approach adult life as truly global citizens, through its IB curriculum and multi-lingual teaching approach, and Aurelia epitomises positivity, strength, and humility SISD pupils are all encouraged to develop.

Shaneer N. Siddiqui

A news aficionado, Shaneer, Managing Editor of TheBrew.ae, is a keen observer of how news and mass communication industry is bringing about an invigorating change. He has a vast journalistic experience and writes on topics covering politics, social and development issues.

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