children with cancer has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.
Damian Morter, who is originally from London but now lives in Jackson Street, Cudworth, was diagnosed with alopecia areata back in 2008 which meant his hair fell out, leaving circular bald patches across his scalp and beard.
It is thought that alopecia areata is a systemic autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own hair follicles and stops or suppresses hair growth.
Damian said the patches began to disappear in 2011 and after he moved to Barnsley, his hair started to grow back. Then, after many years of not cutting his hair, his wife Nicola mentioned the Little Princess Trust, which he decided to donate his hair to.
The Little Princess Trust provides free real hair wigs to children and young people up to 24-years-old, who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions.
“I hadn’t even heard of it (the Little Princess Trust) before my wife told me about it,” said Damian.
“I hadn’t really thought about what to do with my hair, I just didn’t want to do anything to stop it from continuing to grow so I left it to do its thing.”
Damian also decided he wanted to do something else as well as donate his hair to the Little Princess Trust and as he works as a carer he wanted to help raise funds for The Carlton Resource Centre off Spring Lane, which is a day centre for men and women with disabilities.
“The Carlton Resource Centre is a great place and I wanted to do something to raise money for them as in this industry (the care industry), fundraising and getting funds from government bodies is difficult and takes a long time.
“A lot of the money goes on day trips and things like that but the centre needs more updated things, like electrical items.”
Damian set up a JustGiving page to raise as much money as possible for the centre and ended up raising more than £900. He said he will be buying new items which will help the people who go enjoy their time there.
“The TV in there is one of those old tube-like ones and there is no DVD player, so the people who go can’t watch films or anything like that.
“There isn’t much that is up to date. There are no luxuries there that we take for granted so I’d like to give them some new things, like craft items that are safe for them to use, a new TV, DVD player and things like that.”
After getting his hair cut in June, Damian sent it off and is awaiting a certificate from the Little Princess Trust.
He said he hopes the hair he donated will make a difference to children and young people who have lost theirs.
“It was a real struggle when I had alopecia,” said Damian.
“I used to have this beanie that I was attached to which used to cover up my hair, but even with it on sometimes people would pull it off and once I was asked if I was ‘terminal’.
“There were clubs I couldn’t go into as well because of my hat but obviously I didn’t want to take it off.
“I am just one of the very lucky ones with my hair growing back. For some people alopecia is temporary and sometimes it’s a lifetime condition.
“I feel really lucky. I hated
having alopecia and I was over 30, so I can’t imagine what younger people feel like.”
And Damian said he’s getting used to having short hair for the first time in more than ten years, especially as he often works long shifts.
“I’m loving it to be honest, it doesn’t take me an hour of preparation to leave the house anymore after washing and
drying and combing through it all. A little blob of gel and I’m ready for the day.”
To follow Damian’s journey, visit www.facebook.com/DamianMorter.