A talented teenager forced to put her dream dance career on hold has overcome her personal devastation in order to help other young people in need.
Emily Eaton, who goes to Allenbourn Middle School in Wimborne, has donated her long hair to a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer after she herself was diagnosed with a rare condition.
The 13 year-old has a bone disorder called Avascular Necrosis.
It means a bone in one of her feet has died and Emily, who excels in ballet, modern, jazz and tap, has been forced to halt her promising dancing career for a year.
But rather than feel down about this shattering news the youngster turned her thoughts into helping others.
And Emily – known as Millie to her friends at school – chose her 13th birthday as the day that 11 inches of her long locks would be cut off and donated to the Little Princess Trust.
She explained: “I have been dancing since I was three and anyone who knows me will understand how devastating it is for me to give up dance for such a long time.
“However, I do realise I am very fortunate. Hopefully with complete rest my foot will recover and I wanted to make something positive out of this situation.
“I decided that as I was not able to dance for such a long time and wouldn’t need my hair to be so long that I would donate it to the Little Princess Trust. I just really want to make another child smile.”
Not only has Emily donated her hair but she has also embarked on a fundraising drive.
It costs the Little Princess Trust between £300 and £500 for every wig it makes and Emily is determined to give them the funds as well as her hair.
She has launched a Just Giving Page and held fundraising events at school, so far raising £1,200.
Allenbourn’s headteacher, Cindy Pritchard, said: “We are all incredibly proud of Emily and how she has turned what is very upsetting news into something good.
“All her friends and peers at school have rallied around her and supporting the fundraising events she has been holding.
“She has turned her will to succeed in dancing to the power of good for others and we know that one day she will return to dancing and reach her dreams.”
Emily used to dance between one and three hours a day, seven days a week, attending the Orchard Academy of Performing Arts in Poole. One of her most recent successes saw her pass her intermediate foundation ballet exam at the Royal Academy of Dance.
But her condition leaves her in constant pain and she has already missed six months of dancing while doctors tried to find the cause.
Now she has a diagnosis, Emily is under the supervision of a specialist dance injury clinic in London.
Regular trips to that clinic for physio should encourage the blood flow back to the bone and allow Emily to dance again.
To support Emily’s efforts for the Little Princess Trust go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Emily-Eaton12
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