A north-east breast cancer survivor has donated £5,580 to the unit which saved her life during a nine-month fight with the illness.
Kelly Noble was diagnosed with stage three aggressive breast cancer just one week after lockdown began in March and, as soon as she realised she’d be losing her hair during treatment, decided to donate her long locks to the Little Princess Trust – which makes wigs for youngsters going through chemotherapy.
The 37-year-old said: “My hair was so long and thick so I had to cut it off, but I didn’t want it being binned.
“My friend said she would do the same and shave her hair off too, so – over our garden fences – her husband shaved her head and my husband did mine.”
It was Kineff neighbour Melanie Alexander who then came up with the idea to try raise £200 on a Just Giving page for their efforts and to help the breast cancer research department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
“It really took off from there and before we knew it we’d raised £5,500,” Mrs Noble, an animal feed advisor with East Coast Viners, added.
“We were totally overwhelmed. There’s three of my pals all ended up cutting their hair off to support me. I got the cancer but Melanie, she did everything else.”
Now cancer-free after four rounds of chemotherapy, an operation and further radiotherapy and immunotherapy, the mum-of-two is determined to give something back to those who helped her, husband Ryan and children Nuala, eight, and Flynn, four, through the ordeal.
“It was never an option to give up, she added.
“I have only had two days off work sick during my chemo, that was my way of coping.
“There have been some days which have been quite rough but I have kept going, as you do when you have kids.”
Due to conoravirus lockdown restrictions, Mrs Noble was alone throughout her diagnosis, treatment and operations.
She had to break the devastating diagnosis to her husband in a text while he waited outside in the car park.
She added: “I’ve had no visitors throughout all the hospital time, but the NHS staff have done an amazing job.
“The NHS gets such a beating all the time and it’s a shame people can be so negative as they have done an amazing job. Throughout lockdown, they have risked their lives to save others.
“I have a daughter of my own and she now has a fairly high risk of having breast cancer in the future since it’s in the family now. So this donation is the least I can do to aid research in the future. If it saves one more person’s life, or helps them, then it’s all worth it.”
Her consultant Beatrix Elberger said the money will be used to further research and trial drugs hoping to beat the disease.
Ms Elberger added: “Our breast team here at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is very grateful for the donation from Kelly and her friends.
“The money will contribute to the running of UK-wide clinical breast cancer trials in Aberdeen. Being able to offer clinical trials will bring the latest advances to the region and benefit breast cancer patients locally.
“Despite being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer at the start of the first pandemic lockdown, we were able to treat Kelly based on best practice and such evidence established by trials.”
People can donate to the fundraiser at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/melanie-alexander