Harriet and Tatiana have been best friends through thick and thin, including when Tatiana’s mum, Sian, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. To prevent others from going through this experience, Harriet has shaved her head to raise awareness of the disease.
I met Tatiana at school when we were both 11, and we have been inseparable ever since. Two years ago, Tatiana’s mum, Sian, starting losing weight really quickly and feeling bloated, but she was misdiagnosed and treated for the wrong illnesses. For eight months, no one recognised the signs, so the treatment she really needed was delayed.
Sian was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in March 2018, and sadly passed away just three months later.
In hindsight, her extreme weight loss and severe bloating were clues that she had ovarian cancer, so Tat and I are determined to help both healthcare professionals and women learn the symptoms, to help women with the disease get diagnosed sooner.
That’s why on the 6th December, Tatiana shaved my head in order to raise awareness of this awful disease. This was my way to bring Sian’s story into the spotlight and raise money for a fantastic cause, in honour of my best friend’s mum. I plan to donate my hair to The Princess Trust, and all money raised will go to Ovarian Cancer Action.
“Seeing your best friend lose their mum to cancer, as quickly as she did, has been utterly devastating. So, if I can raise some money for Ovarian Cancer Action and a bit of awareness to give someone else more time with their mum, then this will have been worth it.”Harriet Courage
Our goal was to raise £5000, but with the support of our friends and family we have more than doubled this figure to £11,000.
“You never think it could happen to you, or your family” shares Tatiana. “My mum was so outgoing and was always the life and soul of the party, we miss her more than words describe. Harriet and I wanted to raise awareness of this awful disease and fundraise for much-needed research to help women survive ovarian cancer. I can’t quite believe she let me shave her head.”
Symptoms such as persistent bloating, stomach pain, needing to wee more frequently and difficulty eating are all signs of ovarian cancer. Find out more about the symptoms here.