AFTER seeing their mums battle breast cancer, Leominster cousins Megan Dale and Tara Adams decided to do their bit to help.
The 13-year-olds, who are both pupils at Earl Mortimer College, have been raising funds for the Haven and Megan has also donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust.
Her mum, Sue Dale, discovered she had breast cancer just over a decade ago but after a successful battle, the disease returned two years ago on the other side of her body.
She has since been given the all clear but last October the devastating disease struck her sister Margaret.
“My sister has battled through it twice and is an absolute trouper. And I didn’t realise how much of a trouper she is until I went through it myself,” said Margaret.
“I’d been experiencing dry hands and feet and one of my neck glands was swollen but I had tests and checks and blood tests and nothing was showing.”
It was when she was due to take a trip away for her husband’s 40th birthday that she discovered the lump and a diagnosis of breast cancer soon followed.
“It flipped from everything being completely normal to dealing with cancer,” she said.
"My niece Meg has been through it twice with her own mother and now I’m poorly. The girls have definitely got empathy for each other – they know how it feels and wanted to do something proactive."
Tara decided to make valentine's cards and chocolates which she sold to her fellow pupils. And Meg raised sponsorship money for the Haven before having her hair cut and donated to the Little Princess Trust.
Margaret says the Haven – Hereford's breast cancer support centre – has been "absolutely fantastic" at supporting her throughout her treatment.
"I had hypnotherapy sessions which helped because, when you’re faced with something like cancer, your mortality is brought completely home to you and although you’re fine when you’re occupied, your brain goes into overdrive during the night. To say you don’t go to some dark places is an understatement. But in the sessions I learnt breathing techniques and a skill set to – if it wakes me up in the night – be able to get back to sleep and take some deep breaths."
Margaret has finished her chemotherapy and has also had surgery to remove the area where the lump was as well as lymph nodes in her neck and fortunately there was no sign of cancer cells.
She is now waiting to start a course of radiotherapy in Cheltenham.
To donate to the Haven visit thehaven.org.uk/how-you-can-support-us/donate-today