Norwich woman cuts hair for friend who battled cancer

When Jackie Pye was diagnosed with breast cancer last year she knew she would have to undergo gruelling chemotherapy treatment.

And knowing her great friend was likely to lose her hair, Winn Betts decided it was time to start growing hers. Almost 16 months after her friend and neighbour was diagnosed with the illness, the 64-year-old from Lakenham had her waist-length hair chopped short in the middle of The Forum by Mrs Pye's niece Sarah Aldis, who had breast cancer four years ago. She is now hoping it can be turned into a wig to help others with the disease.

She has also raised between �600 and �700 for the charity Breast Cancer Care. Mrs Betts said: 'When we found out Jackie was going to have chemotherapy she was worried she would lose her hair. As a joke I said I would grow mine and then she could have mine. Then I thought: 'why not?'.'

She said that although she had known people with breast cancer before it was not until her close friend was ill that she realised how devastating it can be.

'When you see someone go through chemo first hand, it's awful', she said.

Mrs Pye, 70, was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 8 last year, nine years after she had previously suffered from the disease. 'I had it in the left breast and this time it was diagnosed in the right. I had already had a word with the family and told them that I was going to have to have both breasts removed.'

She underwent the double mastectomy and although she has been given the all clear she must have regular check ups for the next five years.

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Despite wearing a cold cap during the treatment, she still lost a lot of her hair.

'I had my family and friends, I was very lucky', she said. She said that her dog Anna has also been a great comfort during the illness.

She said that Mrs Betts had been really helpful and had really gone with the idea of growing her hair.

Mrs Betts, who was a telephonist at Norwich Prison, moved to Arnold Miller Road, in Old Lakenham, in 1976 where she met neighbour Mrs Pye, who ran a bed and breakfast and was also a hairdresser.

If you would like to donate to Breast Cancer Care you can send money to Winn Bett at 6 Arnold Miller Road, Norwich, NR1 2JD.