A BRAVE member of a Crossgates dance academy has been supplied with a new hair piece as she battles cancer thanks to the efforts of her close pal.

Saoirse O'Halloran, aged 11, was given the diagnosis last month, on St Patrick's Day, after a lump was discovered in the side of her neck.

She has begun a second block of chemotherapy to treat the disease, with doctors believing she needs four, resulting in her losing her hair, which is when her pal at Centre Stage Performing Arts, Aila Penman, 11, stepped in.

The kind-hearted 10-year-old, after being told the news about Saoirse, was determined to do something to help her friend – and decided to have some of her own hair chopped off for the Little Princess Trust.

The charity provides free, real hair wigs to children and young people, up to 24-years-old, who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions, as well as funding research.

Aila, a pupil at Kelty Primary School, donated seven inches of her hair to help Saoirse, who is from Dunfermline, and raised a staggering total of £3,100.

Saoirse's mum, Julie, said: "I think Saoirse was really blown away by Aila's gesture, the level of support, and how people got behind it. It's been really special.

"It has made her feel really special and we actually still can't believe Aila did that, and managed to raise so much money. Saoirse's already went and got a really nice wig with it, to make her feel a lot better and more confident in herself.

"We really can't say thanks enough to Aila and her family. It's just been a lovely thing that they've done for Saoirse."

Aila's mum, Genna, revealed that the plan for the hair cut, which took place last Thursday, was one her daughter came up with herself.

Parents of the dancers were told the news about Saoirse by Centre Stage founder, Louise Ferrier, and Genna said: "It was one of the hardest things I've had to do, one of the hardest conversations I've had with Aila.

"We sat her down, cuddled her, and told her about Saoirse, and she burst into tears. She said 'I need to do something for her'.

"It is a massive thing to do, and she decided to do it all by herself. When she told me, I broke down in tears, but they were proud tears.

"The pride I have in Aila is unbelievable."

Both Saoirse and Aila have been with Centre Stage since the age of three, and have developed a close bond since.

Louise said that the whole school had been fully supportive of both Saoirse and Aila, and said that they "couldn't be prouder" of the fundraising efforts, whilst Helena Berg, who carried out the cut and runs Concept Hair and Beauty in Glenrothes, and who has a contract with NHS Fife to supply and fit prescription hair pieces, said it was an "honour" to be involved.

Julie added that Saoirse, who also has a brother and sister, was doing well with her treatment, adding: "Saoirse's just got a really positive attitude, and just keeps moving forward. Every day's closer to the finish line.

"Things just move on so quickly you don't have time to stop and think about it. You just keep going, and Saoirse's just so positive that everybody else is.

"The support of Aila and her family's just been incredible. What a thing to do for your friend. It makes a huge, huge difference to our family."