A CANCER sufferer who lost her hair during chemotherapy treatment has become a global sensation after she launched a hat campaign.
Mother-of-three Jill White, of Tatworth, was knocked for six after she was told she had breast cancer in August last year.
After two operations and news from doctors that her cancer had spread, she reluctantly decided to undergo a course of chemotherapy, and after the second dose she lost her hair.
To avoid wearing an NHS wig Jill set her own challenge to wear a different hat every day for a year.
She said: “I didn’t want a horrible wig and to look like Mrs Doubtfire, so I thought I’d do something different.
“I started posting pictures of my hats on Facebook, and before I knew it people were sending me hats from across the world, including Canada, Australia and Brazil.”
After her diagnosis, Jill had a mastectomy in October, but then found out her cancer had spread to her lymph glands and she was forced to go back on the operating table.
In January, Jill, who worked on the checkouts at Chard Tesco, started her chemotherapy, and to avoid being downhearted she started the Mad Hatters campaign to wear a different hat with Alison Whittingham, who is also having cancer treatment.
Jill’s latest antics included wearing an England wig in a Wales pub for the Six Nations rugby tournament.
The pair also have a number of fundraising events lined up to raise money for Cancer Research UK, including a ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ on Tatworth Playing Field on June 8 when all the hats can be purchased, a Mulberry handbag will be auctioned off, and there will be a bar, raffle and a rounders competition for a family day out.
Jill hopes to raise at least £1,000 for Cancer Research UK and will be running the Race for Life in Taunton later this year.
She said: “It’s the fear of the unknown because they give you the worst case scenario just to prepare you.
“I’m bald, I get a bit tired in the evenings and I have a reduced immune system, but I’ve been lucky because so far I haven’t been really ill – I can still leave the house.”