Aurelia Reeves was inspired to donate hair to a wig charity to mark the anniversary of her stem cell treatment for a rare disease. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Aurelia Reeves, a Grade 5 pupil at the Al Jadaf-based Swiss International School Dubai, has donated her hair to a wig charity in the UK to mark the anniversary of her stem cell treatment.

The charity Little Princess Trust provides real hair wigs, free of charge, to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer.

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Aurelia, who was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) when she was just four months old, survived, but part of her treatment involved receiving 50 litres of blood in a stem cell donor treatment.

Aurelia Reeves undergoing the haircut for a cause. Image Credit: Supplied

HLH is an immune deficiency disorder where the build-up of certain white blood cells in the body can destroy other blood cells and cause severe damage. The first line of treatment is to stop the inflammation in the body. It is a rare disease and is said to occur one in 50,000 children.

Aurelia, who now sports a bob, grew her hair as long as possible – as long-haired wigs are most in demand – before having 33cm of it cut off. She previously shaved her head, along with her teacher, in 2022, in support of the wig charity.

Seeing her example, three of her classmates, Sofija, Alena and Emma, were also inspired to grow out and donate their hair since Aurelia’s first donation in Grade 3, two years ago.

Aurelia's classmates have also been motivated to donate their hair to help cancer patients. Image Credit: Supplied

Head of Primary Shona Gastaldi at Swiss International, said: “Aurelia’s story is truly inspirational to the entire SISD community. She is a credit to our school and her passion for charitable causes - including animal welfare and environmental issues - is infectious. Aurelia’s drive, kindness and selflessness epitomise what it means to be a Global Citizen at our school.

The fact that her enthusiasm for the cause has now had tangible impact on her classmates and the school is precisely the attitude that deserves recognition, and that we wish to inculcate across the school. The support, camaraderie and understanding are certainly qualities to be celebrated.”