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A seven-year-old grew her hair for three years so she could cut it off and donate it to be turned into wigs for sick children.

Maisie Backler, of Arundel Road, Brighton, had 11in of hair chopped off last Friday. She has raised £568 and has a target of £700, enough to make two wigs.

Maisie had originally wanted to cut off all her hair before starting reception at St Mark’s Primary School in Whitehawk.

At the time her mother, Kirstine Roberts, 41, suggested the four-year-old donate it to charity but “bottled it” when the scissors came out, uncertain she fully grasped what it would look like. But after cutting off half her hair, Maisie insisted it was shortened further into a bob. Neither off-cut was long enough to give as a donation. So Maisie grew it back and, three years on, wanted to donate it.

Earlier this year, together with dad Simon Backler and nine-year-old brother Finley, she decided to donate the hair to The Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides real-hair wigs for children suffering from hair loss.

Her mother said: “I feel incredibly proud of what she has done but also of her depth of understanding, which is enormous.”

It is not the end for Maisie either, who is already growing her hair to do it all again in three years’ time.

Maisie said: “I have hair and I know that other children do not. My class mates say nice things. Other parents say it suits me and that I look French.”

On her donation web page she says: “I am lucky to have lovely long hair that people say is very pretty. I hope that by donating my hair, I might help another little boy or girl feel pretty too.”

Carol Marshall, writing to Maisie on the web page, said: “My little girl lost all her hair several times and would have loved the beautiful wig your hair will make. It grew from your head and your heart, too.”

Monica Glass, of the Little Princess Trust, said: “Her kind and wonderful hair donation will form part of a wig for a boy or girl with cancer and the amazing amount she has raised will go towards the purchase of two wigs for other poorly children.”

To donate, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/ fundraisers/maisiesmegahaircut1?