PARIS Steenson’s family are rallying around the 20-year-old after she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma three weeks ago.
The Toothill 20-year-old, a qualified hairdresser, faces eight gruelling months of chemotherapy and the loss of her beloved locks.
As wigs are no longer available on the NHS, Paris’ brother David Harrington, 28, is staging a fundraising event at the Bakers Arms in Badbury on April 19 to pay for a new head of hair.
Paris first suspected something was wrong when she discovered some unusual lumps.
“I found two lumps on my neck,” she said. “They were there for about three months, but I did not go to the doctors at first. In the end they started hurting really badly so I went to get them checked out. To begin with I just thought it was swollen glands.”
Paris’ mother, Belinda McCormick, 51, said: “We took her to the doctor’s because of the lumps when she started looking really unwell. “They just thought it was infected nodes to begin with, and she went on some antibiotics. “Later she got quite ill and I had to take her to A&E.
“They took her down for a CT scan the next day. On the Saturday morning I had a call to say they needed to give Paris her results and I needed to be there for her. It did not take a rocket scientist to read between the lines.
“They said that it was lymphoma but they did not know what type. After she had a PET scan they knew it was Hodgkin’s. She has been diagnosed with stage 3B, which means it is in three different places – her neck, her chest and her diaphragm.
“She has already had one session of chemotherapy before being discharged from the hospital after eight days. She has been told it is eight months of chemotherapy she is facing, once every two weeks.”
David said he has been amazed at the response to the fundraiser already.
“I do the music and entertainment for the Bakers Arms, and I know the landlord quite well so he agreed to let us hold the event in there,” he said.
“We went to a lot of local companies and we have been amazed at the amount of stuff that has been donated, from Swindon Town tickets to restaurant meals and a whole lot of beauty treatments. “I have been overwhelmed by the amount of stuff put forward. We have easily got more than 50 big prizes.
“The money is to go towards wigs for Paris, and they are quite pricey. We have been going to Cameo in Chiseldon to look at real hair wigs, and they have agreed to sell them to us at cost price. Even then you are looking at £400 a wig.
“Any additional money we raise will be going to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research UK. We would also like to give some to the Dove unit at GWH, who were absolutely brilliant with Paris from the minute she arrived.”