A DETERMINED great grandmother has marked 13 years since she was first diagnosed with cancer by losing her hair again – but this time out of choice.

Sylvia Lea, from Great Sankey, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2005 and underwent treatment and surgery.

The initial chemotherapy treatment was intended to keep Sylvia alive for 10 years, but the brave great grandmother defied the odds.

Sylvia underwent chemotherapy at Warrington Hospital and radiotherapy at Clatterbridge, losing her hair during the treatment.

And on February 27, Sylvia let her hairdressers shave off her hair to raise money for charity, marking 13 years since her first operation to remove breast tissue and lymph nodes.

Robina Wainwright, a hairdresser at Toppers Hairdressers, fulfilled Sylvia’s wish.

Before she braved the shave, Sylvia dyed her hair purple – much to her son’s amusement.

She said: “It looks so much better than when it fell out with the cancer treatment, I still have my eyebrows and I don’t want to use the wig I bought because I think it looks good without it.”

The grandmother of seven and great grandmother of two, is raising money for the Warrington cancer support group who helped her during the tough time.

The 76-year-old said: “They are a fantastic group of ladies who were there for me every step of the way.

"From the mammogram, to my surgery, someone was there when I needed the support.”

The mum-of-four has raised £500 so far and is amazed at the generosity of the town.

She added: “I can’t believe how kind people have been and how much they have donated.

"I decided at Christmas that I was going to shave my head and have been going around the village and market asking for donations since.”

Sylvia is a former auxiliary nurse and worked at Warrington Hospital for 33 years, she now lives in Ryfields Retirement Village in Orford.

Sylvia is continuing to raise money for the support group and is hosting a charity night at Ryfields Village in July.

She added: “I want to give other cancer sufferers hope – getting a diagnosis is frightening but I knew I had too much to live for and so giving up wasn’t an option.”