Award-winning author Sue Hampton visited King’s Park Academy in Bournemouth after being invited by pupil, and fellow alopecia sufferer, Molly Milligan.
Year six pupil Molly wrote to Sue to ask for her help in raising awareness of alopecia, a condition which covers all types of hair loss from temporary loss to sudden and complete baldness.
Molly started losing her hair three years ago and has been left with large, bald patches on the back of her head.
Last month, (November) the charity Little Princess Trust paid for her to receive a £700 custom wig, made of real human hair.
To show her appreciation, the youngster organised Molly’s Hair-Raising Event, to raise money to fund a wig for another child.
Sue Hampton said: “When Molly sent me a letter inviting me to her ‘Hair Raising Event’ at school, I knew she was a child with a big personality.
“Now I have met her, I know she is also very brave and I have been inspired by the way she has been so open about her condition amongst her friends and how they are supporting her and helping her to raise money.”
During her visit, Sue, who has written 21 novels for children and teenagers, ran creative writing workshops for the whole of year six.
Some of the pupils then read passages from the stories they had written during a special assembly.
Sue continued: “I lost my own hair to alopecia at the age of 24, but hid my condition for many years.
“Molly however, is using what she is going through to educate others and that is wonderful.”
Molly said: “I was really happy when Sue said she would come to my school. She has been reading her books to us and has also talked to me about having alopecia.
“Everyone has known about my alopecia and they have been really kind.
“They have all said my new wig is pretty too and they are going to help me raise money to pay for a wig for someone else.”
Molly’s mum Claire Heaton also attended the event.
She said: “It was really upsetting for Molly when she started losing her hair, but she has dealt with it really well and is thrilled with her new wig.”
She continued: “Since we launched our fundraising we have been inundated with gifts which we have auctioned off, raising £473.50 so far.”
Dawn Wilks, Associate Principal of King’s Park Academy said: “I’m very proud of Molly and also her fellow pupils who have been so supportive of her.
“We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to Sue Hampton, whose creative writing classes have been a great success and have really inspired our year six pupils to think about what makes people ‘different’ and to carry on writing their own exciting stories.
“We are now looking forward to doing all we can to add to Molly’s amazing fundraising efforts, so another child can have a beautiful wig like hers.”
Wendy Tarplee-Morris, trustee and co-founder of the Little Princess Trust, which supplied Molly’s wig, said: “I would like to thank all at King’s Park Academy for choosing to support us.
“We are currently funding around 80-100 wigs every single month for children who have lost their hair through cancer and other conditions, and this is only possible thanks to the amazing support that we receive from fundraising.”