Close shave is a true test of friendship

Rachel Hiley (left), who has had her head shaved for Greenlea oncology unit at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, with best friend Rachael Litjens.
Rachel Hiley (left), who has had her head shaved for Greenlea oncology unit at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, with best friend Rachael Litjens.

RACHEL Hiley’s long brown locks were her crowning glory - but she willingly lost them to help a friend in need.

The 42-year-old legal assistant from Hipperholme had her head shaved to support her good friend, Rachael Litjens, who has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

In doing so she has raised around £3,000 for the Greenlea Oncology Trust at Huddersfield Royal Infimary. She has also donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust which makes wigs for children with cancer.

Said Rachel: “I have had long hair most of my adult life but having it shaved off was nothing compared to what Rachael and other cancer sufferers go through.”

Mum-of-two Rachael, who works as an administration assistant at Hillside Services, Bailiff Bridge, was diagnosed with lung cancer in November and has been having chemotherapy treatment which made her hair fall out. She has been good friends with Rachel since the two were pupils at the former Highlands Grammar School , Halifax.

“I take the view that all I’ve lost is hair and that it’ll grow back again,” said Rachel. “My head feels a bit cold but that’s all.”

A large crowd of friends and supporters, including Rachael and her family, watched the head shave at the Yew Tree pub, Northowram. Rachel’s locks were cut and her head shaved by hairdresser Helen Moran, of Shelf, who has been a friend of Rachael’s since the two were at nursery school together.