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Bushey woman, Nicola Evans, who suffered six strokes shaves head for 'lifeline' charity Cavernoma Alliance UK
A woman who has had six strokes shaved her hair to raise almost £3,000 for the charity which she said has "been a lifeline".
Nicola Evans has five cavernomas in her brain - the largest of which will be removed next month after causing six strokes in a 13 year period.
Before her surgery, Miss Evans decided to shave her head to raise awareness of her condition and money for charity.
The 30-year-old who lives in Aldenham Road, Bushey, enlisted the help of Espiritu Salon and Spa in Radlett who offered to do the headshave and host a pamper evening for her friends and family.
Miss Evans said: "On my journey I discovered Cavernoma Alliance UK and they have been a lifeline to me.
"To finally find and talk to others with this condition has been wonderful. To hear their stories and journeys has helped me come to terms with my own. So I decided I would like to give back.
"I’m so pleased at all the money I have raised so far. I didn’t think I would even raise £50."
Miss Evans donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust and the fundraising money will go to Cavernoma Alliance UK - a charity that aims to improve the quality of life for those affected by cavernomas, which are clusters of abnormal blood vessels mainly found in the brain and spinal cord.
They are estimated to occur in about 1 in 600 people, without causing any symptoms.
Miss Evans continued: "Cavernomas have been part of my life since I was 14, when my mum had a brain haemorrhage as a result of hers.
"I had my first stroke at 17, and have gone on to have six in total. The strokes have taken longer to recover from, and my last one in October was the worst."
Up until now, the surgery to remove Miss Evans' largest cavernoma, which is 4cm and called "Freddie", was considered too risky because it is in the middle of her brain. However, her last stroke left her partially sighted meaning the surgeon can get to the brain through her optic nerve.
Discussing the surgery, Miss Evans said: "It was an extremely hard choice to go ahead with it.
"But I can either sit around and wait for the next stroke - putting my life on hold - or be able to get on with it.
"The strokes I have had have battered my body. Life stops for six months, and it has meant I have never been able to get a career off the ground which is so frustrating.
"Freddie has now caused me one too many strokes, vision loss and too many hospital stays.
"It will be weird not having him there - he has been a big part of my life.
"Obviously I’m excited to hopefully have the strokes stop. But it is weird to think he will be gone."
Before her last stroke, Miss Evans was training to be a nail technician. She hopes to complete the training after her surgery and said she was "excited to see what 2014 has on hold for me".
So far Miss Evans has raised £2,980.17 from 163 different people.
To sponsor visit: http://www.justgiving.com/Nikki-Evans10
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