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Newbury woman's tribute to tragic youngster

Head shave raises money for family of four-year-old girl

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

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01635 886639

Newbury woman's tribute to tragic youngster

A NEWBURY woman has helped raise money for the family of a little girl that she sadly never had the chance to meet.

Janet Roberts decided to take action after being touched by the story of Ezmae Catley – a four-year-old from Kent, who was suffering from dystonia, epilepsy and brain damage.

The youngster, who her mother Claire Morrish called Princess Ezmae, needed constant care.

After seeing Ezmae’s story on Facebook, Mrs Roberts contacted Ezmae’s mother and asked if she and her cousin Allison Pollard could shave their heads for the cause.

Everything was all set and Ezmae and Mrs Catley had planned to travel to Newbury for the event.

But tragically, little Ezmae died on January 3 – just weeks before her fifth birthday.

Rather than cancelling the fundraising event, Mrs Roberts went through with the shave to raise money for Ezmae’s funeral and help the young girl’s family.

Speaking of Ezmae’s “heartbreaking” death, Mrs Roberts said: “I couldn’t come to terms with what had just happened.

“Upset and crying, I sat and said to my cousin I am going to go ahead with the head shave.”

Mrs Roberts and Miss Pollard had their heads shaved at Legends, in Bartholomew Street, Newbury, last Saturday and also had Ezmae’s name shaved on their heads.

“It went really, really well,” said Mrs Roberts. “I’m getting used to being bald, it’s very cold.”

The pair’s fundraising page has set a £2,000 target, but funds are also coming in from Mrs Roberts’ husband’s workplace.

Mrs Roberts said that she was going to meet Ezmae’s family in Kent today (Thursday), which would have been Ezmae’s fifth birthday, and balloons are set to be released on the beach in her memory. 

“Although she’s passed away, we still get to be a little bit closer to her when we go there,” Mrs Roberts said. “Her family said ‘thank you so much for doing it for her’.”

Mrs Roberts said that her shaved head had drawn some stares, with some people asking why she had done it.

“When I turn my head they see her name and ask ‘what have you done that for’.

“I had people staring at me and I thought ‘at least I’ve done something so you can keep staring’. 

“It’s for a good cause and I thought I would have do it even though she’s passed away.”

To make a donation visit https://www.gofundme.com/2qrmfwk which closes on February 28.

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