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Psychiatrist prepares to brave the shave for cancer charities

​A psychiatrist working for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is preparing to brave the shave and lose her crowning glory to help two cancer charities.

Dr Lauren Coates, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist based in King’s Lynn, has pledged to have her hair shaved off once she has achieved her £1,000 fundraising target for Cancer Research UK.

She will then also donate her shorn locks to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides real hair wigs free of charge to children and young people up to the age of 24 who have lost their own hair due to cancer treatment and other illnesses.

“I have had many family members, friends and colleagues diagnosed with cancer from my early childhood up to the present time,” she said. “Many have survived, some have not.

“There are currently people I respect and care about who are undergoing treatment for cancer and I finally decided to ‘brave the shave’ because I feel passionate about helping more people survive cancer.

“It’s possible that I or another person I love could be the next to be diagnosed and I would like to know that I have contributed to developing more effective treatments.”

Dr Coates, who is 39 and based in Thurlow House, Goodwins Road, said she had always had long hair and took particular pride in it when she was a young girl.

Her hair is now halfway down her back but in the past it has been so long that she has almost been able to sit on it.

Once she has achieved her £1,000 target – so far, she has raised £483 plus £112 Gift Aid – she plans to have all of her hair shaved off in a community setting so people can watch the event and, hopefully, donate more money.

“My grandmother survived breast cancer and my mum has had bowel cancer and, fortunately, is still with us,” she said.

“One colleague has returned to work following cancer treatment and two more are currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

“Braving the shave is something I’ve been thinking about for some time but, to be honest, it’s something I’ve wimped out of until now.”

Dr Coates said that she had explained to her seven-year-old son that she was having her hair shaved off to help children who are ill.

While he understands the reason for the forthcoming head shave, she had to reassure him that her hair would grow back again!

* Anyone who would like to make a donation towards Dr Coates’s fundraising target can do so via:

Caption: Dr Lauren Coates when she was aged 13 or 14 at her then home in Norwich.

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