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Sister's fundraising drive raises cash for hair replacement therapy before brave Joleen Swan's wedding

Every bride wants to look their best when they walk down the aisle and will plan every detail of her dress, hair and make-up.

But cancer sufferer Joleen Swan was facing losing all of her hair before her big day, as she begins another gruelling round of chemotherapy.

That was until younger sister Lauren stepped in to raise money for hair replacement treatment, collecting more than £5,000 in just a few days.

Joleen Swan who is to run the marathon in the middle of chemo treatment Picture: Gary Browne
Joleen Swan who is to run the marathon in the middle of chemo treatment Picture: Gary Browne

Joleen, 37, of Tovey Square, Gillingham, is battling cervical cancer for the third time after being diagnosed seven years ago. After a hysterectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, she was given the news the cancer had returned and this time it was incurable.

Joleen was hoping to put off more treatment until after her wedding to partner Martin Lord in August but the diagnosis means she had to bring it forward.

So with just five months to go before the ceremony in Malta, she has started another course of chemotherapy to try to shrink the tumours.

This week, as Joleen was getting ready to fly to the Mediterranean island to make wedding preparations, her hair started falling out again.

She said: “I don’t think people understand how tough it is when your hair starts falling out. “I have always had long hair and I have only just got used to it being short after losing it last time and now I don’t know how much I’m going to lose again.”

Joleen, mum to Chloe, 17, and nanny to seven-month-old Elsie, added: “Of my three sisters Lauren is the least organised so I was amazed when she told me what she had done.”

Joleen (left) with sister Lauren
Joleen (left) with sister Lauren

The GoFundMe online fundraising page set up by Lauren raised £5,600 in 13 days.

Joleen, who raised £36,000 for Cancer Research by running the 2014 London marathon during treatment, added: “It was very emotional seeing the money keep going up. I would rather give money than take it. It is unreal how much has been raised in such a short time.”

Lauren Swan, of Summerson Close, Rochester, said: “Joleen and I both got engaged within weeks of each other so we are both planning our weddings at the same time. She told me she was going to have to spend a lot of money on a wig and that got me thinking.

“It shouldn’t be something a bride has to worry about. I’m thinking about how to style my hair and she is worried about whether she will even have hair.”

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