Four years ago, after breaking her leg and spending some time in hospital, Valentina Holland had a revelation. After meeting other children with various illnesses, including some who had lost their hair, she decided to grow her locks longs for the Alopecia Areata Centre. The Centre takes donations of natural, untreated hair to make wigs for people living with alopecia areata; an autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes other areas of the body.

Valentina is a girl with a sense of generosity and social conscience well beyond her years. For her sixth birthday last year, she asked her parents to not buy her presents, instead, she wanted the money that would have been spent on her to be donated to

Lifeline Darling Downs. Following her lead, her parents have also hosted morning teas and engaged with friends on social media, all up raising $1,500 for the Leukaemia Foundation.

The Leukaemia Foundation does not receive ongoing government funding, instead relying on generous support from people like the Holland family. It is Australia’s peak body for blood cancer, and funds essential research and provide free services to support people with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders. The Foundation states,

“We have an unwavering focus on reducing the impact of blood cancer and related blood disorders by providing free practical and emotional support, and funding

research to improve treatments and find cures.”

Now seven-years old, Valentina has said goodbye to her long ponytail in front of her Glennie school friends at her final Term One assembly. Local Leukaemia Foundation representative Emma Quade attended the assembly to witness the occasion and to accept the funds raised by Valentina and her family. Her hair will be forwarded to the Alopecia Areata Centre where it will make a huge difference for someone special.

“I hope my friends and other people can see how doing small things can make such a difference to those in need,” Valentina said.

 

 

Banner image: Angelina, Valentina & Jay Holland

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