When 7-year-old Hayley Brown first began chemotherapy this past June to stop a cancerous tumour from spreading, she was told that her long, enviable hair would fall out. Hayley was emotional at first, but then shrugged when reality set in. Her long locks began to fall out — but she still had her beautiful, thick, eyelashes.
Everywhere Hayley went, people looked into her big, beautiful eyes and commented on how gorgeous her lashes were. But in the middle of undergoing chemo, Hayley’s lashes began to fall out, too.
“Right through people, including her older sister, always said how jealous they were of her beautiful big eyelashes. But then one day she was complaining about something in her eye,”Hayley’s dad, Andrew Brown, told Kidspot. “The lashes were all coming out one at a time.”
The last beautiful lash hung on for three weeks. Brown took a touching picture of the remaining eyelash, to show how thick a full set would have been.
“She doesn’t really realize they’re gone, people stopped talking about them. She probably doesn’t even know her eyebrows are practically gone,” Brown told Kidspot.
What Hayley does notice is a loss of energy. She was first taken to the hospital in mid-June for doctors to examine why her eye was pointing in a different direction. After a tumour was discovered in her nose, she began heavy chemotherapy treatment. She still has to undergo two more rounds of chemo and just over five weeks of radiation before doctors determine the next step.
Andrew says that Hayley is unable to eat most of the time due to the location of the tumour. Her legs are so weak that Andrew has to carry her everywhere.
“The hardest thing is seeing her now after being so full of life. I have a video from the start of the year, filming her older sister at a playground on a flying fox,” says Andrew.
Still, Andrew is hopeful. A recent scan revealed that the tumour size has reduced.
And despite the chemo treatments and the loss of her beautiful lashes, Hayley is trying to keep positive.
“She has a sense of humour there most of the time, she has a funny wicked sense of humour,” Andrew says.
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