Friends grow hair in tribute to Clifton mum who died of cancer
FRIENDS and relatives of a Clifton woman who died of cancer last year are preparing to have their first haircuts since her death.
Mum-of-two Michelle Gray, 42, of Conifer Crescent, Clifton, died in March last year from complications following breast cancer.
Her family set up the Shell Foundation in her memory to raise money for charities, including some that help cancer patients.
To raise cash for the foundation, Michelle's husband of 21 years, Richard Gray, came up with the idea of the sponsored hair-grow.
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As a result, he and five of Michelle's friends have been growing their hair since last April.
Richard, 45, said: "The hair-grow started after what would have been Shell's birthday on April 4 last year.
"We've been in contact with a company that makes real-hair wigs for cancer patients. They sorted Michelle's wigs out when she needed them.
"We've had quite a lot of response from friends during the grow. I've got hair from other people throughout the year who have heard about what we're doing and had their hair cut and sent the off-cuts to me.
"We have three or four bunches of long hair ready to be sent off and made into wigs. We want to help others, knowing the situation we have been through."
Around £2,000 in sponsorship has so far been raised by Richard and the others who've grown their hair.
They are all due to have their hair cut at the Mode hair salon, Radcliffe-on-Trent, on Saturday at 12.30pm.
Mode is providing its services for the day free of charge, while snacks, cakes and bubbly will be provided.
Richard said: "My hair is very big and terribly curly. I look like a cast-off of Leo Sayer at the moment.
"Shell would be embarrassed by all this but very, very pleased we are helping charities. She was a lovely person and very humble."
Michelle had cancer for just over a year before her death.
She worked at Milford Primary School, in Clifton, for five years as a supervisor and teaching assistant.
She was also a governor at the school.
Richard said: "The kids had a terribly difficult time after she passed away but they had a lovely day for her and set off balloons on her funeral."
The Shell Foundation donated £750 to children in the cancer ward at Nottingham's City Hospital in December to help them have some treats for Christmas.
For more information about the foundation, or to make a donation, call Richard on 07584329475, or visit www.facebook.com/theshellfoundation.