Hartlepool great-grandmother shaves head to support child fighting leukaemia

Barbara Watson after she had her head shaved for charity at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID
Barbara Watson after she had her head shaved for charity at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID

A brave great-grandmother who is battling cancer for the fourth time shaved off all her hair to support a poorly youngster going through leukaemia.

Barbara Watson, 67, who is due to start treatment again next week for a brain tumour, is raising money for children’s cancer charity Clic Sargent.

Barbara Watson half way through getting her head shaved for charity by Rebecca Smith who is a barber at at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID

Barbara Watson half way through getting her head shaved for charity by Rebecca Smith who is a barber at at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID

She is doing it in solidarity with 10-year-old Elly Mae Waugh, from West View, who is now undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia during the summer holidays.

Barbara, who is friends with Elly Mae’s grandmother Beryl Waugh, said: “If I can give something back, even to one bairn, it will be worth it.”

She went to The Market Place Barbers, in Hartlepool town centre, where she had her hair completely shaved off.

Barbara decided to do something when she heard about Elly Mae’s illness.

Elly is such an inspiration and I know what she’s going through with the chemo and everything

Barbara Watson

She has previously raised money for a host of good causes including Hartlepool and District Hospice, Macmillan cancer support and the Great North Air Ambulance.

Barbara said: “I thought ‘right I’m going to do something for Clic Sargent’.

“Elly is such an inspiration and I know what she’s going through with the chemo and everything.”

In 1990, Barbara, who has three sons, two grand-daughters and three great-grandsons, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Barbara Watson half way through getting her head shaved for charity by Rebecca Smith who is a barber at at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID

Barbara Watson half way through getting her head shaved for charity by Rebecca Smith who is a barber at at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID

She overcame the disease again in 2011, this time in her lung after she had major surgery and radiotherapy.

But it returned in both lungs and Barbara’s chest two years later.

Then around a month ago she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and is due to start a course of radiotherapy next week.

Barbara, who lives on the Central Estate, and is married to David, 68, added: “It is not just me that is suffering, there are lots of people.

Barbara Watson before she had her head shaved for charity at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID

Barbara Watson before she had her head shaved for charity at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID

“If each person in Hartlepool gave a pound for Clic Sargent for Elly it would make a lot of money.”

Barbara has sponsor forms or people can donate directly via the charity’s website www.clicsargent.org.uk

Barbara Watson after she had her head shaved for charity at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID

Barbara Watson after she had her head shaved for charity at the Market Place Barbers. Picture by FRANK REID