Three women from Northill, Pam Cooke, Jo Holloway, and Sue Dulson, recently took a bold step to raise money for cancer research by shaving their heads for charity. Pam, who is battling bladder cancer and a rare gene mutation, inspired her friends to join her in going bald for the cause. The trio raised over £8,500 from their head-shaving event at Ickwell Cricket Club on April 2.
Pam’s friends, Jo and Sue, joined her in solidarity, as Pam is currently taking part in a medical trial to try and cure her disease and was losing her hair due to the tablets. Pam’s hair was known for its color – strawberry blonde, ginger, long – and was her crowning glory. However, she lost most of it due to her medication.
The trio named themselves “The Celery Sisters” after a girly evening spent singing and using the vegetable as a microphone. Pam was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in May 2019 after spotting blood in her urine. Despite undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, the tumors came back more frequently. After tests, it was discovered that Pam had a rare gene mutation causing the cancer to return.
Pam is taking part in a trial sponsored by a drug company but run by the NHS team at Lister Hospital. The trial involves taking two tablets every day designed to target the gene mutation and tell it to stop. However, the medication is wreaking havoc with her body, causing her skin to become papery, raw, and very dry. She has lost her fingerprints, the skin on the top of her toe, has blisters on her lips and tongue, and doesn’t have saliva, causing a metallic taste in her mouth. Despite the side effects, Pam is determined to finish the drug trial as if the tumors keep returning, it could result in her bladder and uterus being removed.
Pam expressed her gratitude to her friends, her hairdresser, Francesca Gavin, her husband, daughter, and everyone who donated or came to support the head-shave at the cricket club. The event was a huge success and showcased the power of solidarity and friendship in the face of cancer.