Mike Taylor and Alison Scattergood on their very private battle towards a uncommon illness
After I met up with Alison Scattergood at Salon Worldwide in October, I used to be very moved by her story of dropping a watch to retinoblastoma – a uncommon childhood most cancers – earlier than happening to change into a pioneering icon in barbering. I used to be shocked that this extraordinarily uncommon illness – there are solely 50 instances a 12 months reported within the UK – had coincidentally affected an awesome pal of hers and fellow barbering legend Mike Taylor, founding father of the British Barbers’ Affiliation. Mike’s 2-year previous daughter was recognized with retinoblastoma earlier this 12 months, and is present process remedy.
I instantly took benefit of the chance to place each Mike and Alison within the Takara Belmont interview chairs to speak about this unhappy coincidence, they usually advised me of a tiny, devoted charity working to lift consciousness of the illness, and of an enormous consciousness occasion Alison and Mike are planning for subsequent Could’s Barber UK in Birmingham. I used to be on board straight away!
A MAJOR PLEA to Trade Influencers
However first, A MAJOR PLEA to all of the INDUSTRY INFLUENCERS: BARBERS and HAIRDRESSERS are wanted to enroll as quickly as attainable for the Alison and Mike’s Barber UK occasion at Birmingham! They should plan and print promotional supplies about who’s coming they usually NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Barber UK has supplied them two large phases, one for barbers and one for hairdressers, in order that they want artists and stars to assist out by showing. Gained’t you do your half, too? These two trade stalwarts want your help, so contact them and volunteer in the present day!
Okay, on to the main points of the story!
“I used to be recognized at 6 weeks and my left eye was eliminated surgically after I was ten weeks previous,” Alison advised me. For years she saved the situation personal, however as she acquired to know the individuals on the Childhood Eye Most cancers Belief charity, or CHECT, in London, she determined to be extra forthcoming about it.
“I spotted the mission is consciousness and I might assist,” she mentioned. “My story went large on Fb and I acquired a lot response from households, even in America, who had youngsters affected by the identical factor.”
“However I had by no means identified anybody affected by it personally till Mike.”
“My daughter, she is just two, and clearly your world falls aside if you hear the information,” Mike mentioned of daughter Alice’s prognosis earlier this 12 months. “You by no means determine it would occur that your little one has most cancers. Then I discovered Alison was an envoy for CHECT, and she or he has been a lot assist to my spouse and me.”
“The probabilities are thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands to at least one that you’d get two individuals who know one another that nicely, each affected by this extremely uncommon illness,” Mike mentioned.
“I used to be actually shocked as a result of we reside simply miles aside,” Alison remembers. “I used to be gobsmacked, actually. However quickly we began speaking about getting Mike concerned and serving to CHECT.”
CHECT: a small charity with an vital message
Alison calls CHECT a “tiny” charity that’s chronically underfunded, although it has been working exhausting to lift consciousness within the UK for 30 years. “The illness is simply so uncommon,” she says. “CHECT can typically be overshadowed by larger causes.”
“And being a man, you need to do what you’ll be able to to repair the (most cancers) state of affairs, however you’ll be able to’t repair it,” Mike chimed in. “However one factor I’ve the ability to do is to assist CHECT, as a result of it’s a very small charity.”
Subsequent Could’s occasion in Birmingham will assist elevate consciousness, which is essential even amongst docs. The illness simply slips by medical professionals who typically haven’t any expertise with uncommon childhood eye cancers.
“Alice was checked fairly a number of instances by docs and even a specialist they usually by no means even noticed it,” Mike advised me. “The attention specialist who discovered it advised me it was the second he had ever seen in his complete profession. Most docs won’t ever see one of their complete profession.”
The truth is, Mike mentioned he and his spouse in addition to nursery employees seen little Alice squinting frequently, however docs weren’t initially involved.
He remembers: “We knew it was an enormous drawback when my spouse mentioned, ‘Alice can’t see out of 1 eye, I’m positive of it.’ So we performed pirate together with her and once we put the patch over the great eye, she began strolling into partitions. She was blind. And that was once we knew, ‘This isn’t a squint. Our daughter is blind in a single eye.’”
Serving to Mike and Alison make the 2018 Barber UK stage reveals a SUCCESS!
The pair have organized for 2 large phases at Birmingham NEC throughout Barber UK on Could 20 and 21, 2018, one for barbering and one for hair. The objective is to get as many big-name hairdressers and barbers to return and do reveals, attracting good-sized crowds who need to see their work. “Everyone seems to be welcome,” Mike says. “We need to get as many manufacturers on board to shout from the rooftops about CHECT and this kind of most cancers.”
The pair plan on-site raffles with model help, “smaller ones main as much as a big-brand fundamental prize,” Mike says.
“It’s such a implausible venue, large place, it’s such a possibility we’ve been given and we’d like the assistance of our mates within the enterprise to make it a giant success,” Alison mentioned.
They’re figuring out contemporary concepts to market the occasion and promote consciousness. One such is asking barbers and hairdressers to put on a watch patch on the job to spark dialog throughout CHECT week, which coincides with Barber UK 2018. “We’re open,” Mike says. “Maybe you will get one thing began in your city or store, or contribute a concepts.”
Retinoblastoma indicators and signs
So what ought to mother and father and docs be in search of?
“A squint is likely one of the signs,” Alison mentioned. “If you happen to take a look at an image with a flash, someday the pupils will look white. That it’s not at all times retinoblastoma, however that is likely one of the signs.”
“Additionally in sure mild the pupil can look translucent, like a cat’s eye,” she mentioned.
Retinoblastoma signs also can embrace the next, although these signs can simply be attributable to situations apart from most cancers:
- A unique coloration in every iris (the coloured a part of the attention)
- Eyes don’t look like wanting in the identical path
- Redness or swelling of the attention
“It must be caught early,” Alison added, emphasizing the necessity for consciousness. “It has an enormous survival charge however in the event you don’t catch it in time, it may clearly result in being deadly.”
As for little Alice, Mike says after her prognosis in March she started chemotherapy, which is ending up now. “She has a 50-50 probability of maintaining her eye, although she has already misplaced sight in it,” he mentioned.
“What Alison has accomplished together with her profession is such an excellent instance for Alice and others,” Mike mentioned. “I can inform my daughter this isn’t the tip of the road. She is going to go on to satisfy her goals.”
You possibly can assist fulfill the dream of a massively profitable Barber UK CHECT occasion by getting on board early and contacting Alison or Mike in the present day. Mike is simple to search out by means of miketayloreducation.com and Alison recommends contacting her by means of East Durham School, the place she is a widely known lecturer.
It’s an exquisite alternative for all of us within the trade to rally spherical two of our well-known individuals and help their implausible trigger: elevating consciousness of childhood eye cancers and selling early detection.
Let’s make it occur and ‘til subsequent time, blissful barbering!
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