One of Netherthird’s longest-haired residents is set to brave the shave in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support - in tribute to her sister who is battling blood cancer.

On Friday, July 23 Grace Nichol, board member of Netherthird Community Centre, will be having a drastic change of hair style to raise funds for the charity after her sister, Pearl, was diagnosed with the condition.

The 70-year-old says the Macmillan nurses have been “awful good to her” and that although the illness is terminal, “she copes better than most”.

Grace told the Chronicle: “My sister was diagnosed with cancer halfway through the year. She’s still here but she doesn’t keep well. I can’t go down to Kent where she lives because my eyesight is so bad. and I’m waiting on a cataract appointment.

“There’s nothing they can do for her. Her daughter, Beth, died at the age of 18 with cancer as did my two best friends. I’ve had a couple of deaths recently with a friend, too. Cancer is rife. The least I can do is do this.

“I was shielding during the pandemic and was stuck at home. I hadn’t spoke to anyone face to face. The older generation isn’t used to talking to folk on phones, I’m used to talking to people face to face so I found it hard, then she was diagnosed. It was a terrible year.”

She continued: “If I didn’t feel right, she’d tell me just to phone her during the night. She doesn’t sleep well and is sometimes up in pain and I kept saying, I feel rotten, you’re the one with cancer and I’m at my wits end to you but she said there’s nothing I could do about it, that she’d accepted it so I have to, too. She copes better than me anyway.

“She’s been glad to get home. For the last wee while I didn’t think she would get home as she’s going through her last lot of chemo which is making her sick but through it all she’s still getting treatment.

“I send a parcel now and again with treats like tablet and macaroon, anything she can’t get down there.”

Although Grace has not had her hair cut in five years, she welcomes a shorter ‘do’.

She added: “I don’t care if I’m baldy or go half an inch, or who sees it. I don’t give a toot. If I can do this for Macmillan nurses for cancer, I’m doing it.”

You can support Grace by dropping by the centre to sponsor her.