By Charlotte Nisbet
A brave mum who was left half bald after brain tumour treatment has showcased her luscious locks thanks to a pioneering GLUE.
Katie Smith, 33, from Stourbridge, West Mids, was left permanently bald on the front part of her head after undergoing gruelling cancer treatment in a bid to save her life.
After initially being diagnosed with a grade 2 brain tumour in 2015, Katie was told the devastating news that the cancerous mass had returned last March.
Katie underwent two major surgeries on her brain to remove both tumours and despite losing her hair due to radiotherapy, she now has a head full of hair thanks to hair loss specialists, Optima.
Despite being bald, experts at Optima were able to attach her new hair piece to her scalp using special glue to hold it in place.
Katie is now sharing her story to show others her amazing results and to raise awareness for Brain Tumour Research.
The mum-of-one added: “When I first walked through the door at Optima in June this year, I was half way through my radiotherapy treatment and most of the hair on the front part of my scalp had fallen out.
“I looked sort of like Gregory David Roberts and I was nervous about showing my head to people who didn’t know me or had no idea about who I was before my hair fell out.
“I’d lost a lot of confidence by this point and I thought people were just going to laugh at me or worse still, give me the pity stare.
“It massively affected my quality of life as I was reminded of my cancer every time I looked at my reflection.
“I was over the moon when I realised there were treatments available and that I’d be able to feel and look like myself again.
“I was measured up for the hair piece and a sample was made.
“It’s amazing as it doesn’t prevent hair growth if it was to start growing underneath in the future.
“The hair systems they provide are made from real hair that is woven into a membrane, coloured to your preference and is stuck down to your head.
“The rest of your real hair, if you have any left, is then cut, styled and blended in with the pretend hair.
“This means that not only are these hair systems very realistic, but they are also semi-permanent so that a person wearing one can swim, shower, go to the gym, and basically do anything they like without the fear of a wig falling off.
“Optima even waived the charges for the hair after hearing about my story which was amazing.”
Katie’s brain tumour was first diagnosed in 2015 after she began suffering from crippling symptoms while on her honeymoon.
She added: “It started suffering from headaches but the pain quickly became so severe that I ended up in A&E.
“I was diagnosed with a brain tumour after an MRI and needed surgery to remove the mass.
“After being given the all clear I gave birth to my son, Eli, in 2017 which was a miracle as doctors thought my treatment may have left me infertile.
“It was a shock last year when I was told the tumour had returned and that my diagnosis is now terminal but doctors are trying their best to keep to stable with chemotherapy.
“The brain tumour I have is literally a ticking time bomb but I’m trying my best to stay positive.
“Eli keeps me and my partner, Luke, 35, distracted and now that I have my hair back, I’m not constantly reminded of my hair loss which is great.
“I go back to Optima every few months to have the hair piece re attached. I would recommend them to anyone.”
QUOTE HERE FROM BRAIN TUMOUR CHARITY
Peter Murtha, CEO and founder of Optima, said: “Katie came to see us last summer to see if we could help her get back some confidence after losing her hair due to her brain tumour.
“After hearing her story we decided to offer the £2500 hair system program completely free of charge. We felt Katie was an inspiration and if we could help her feel better about herself then offering our services free was the least we could do.
“We feel honoured and privileged to have been able to give Katie some happiness and comfort at a time that she needed it most, helping people is in our DNA.”