Ilana Steinberg is giving her hair to help cancer children

By Candice Krieger, January 27, 2011

Now you see it. Next week you won't. Ilana Steinberg's plait, that is.

On Tuesday, the Manchester schoolgirl will have more than 25cm chopped off her hair to raise money for Israeli cancer charity Zichron Menachem.

Ilana, a year-six pupil at North Cheshire Jewish Primary School, was inspired to do so after visiting the organisation in Jerusalem a couple of years ago. She tells People: "I decided to grow my hair and cut it to make a wig for a sick child who had lost theirs. However short I cut my hair, it will always grow back. That is not the case for everyone.

"A friend of mine did a similar thing, which made me think that I could do it."

Zichron Menachem provides free support to young cancer patients and their families. The charity runs educational, recreational, therapeutic and rehabilitative programs in hospitals, patients' homes, and at the Zichron Menachem day centre.

Ilana, who lives in Hale, has already raised £3,000 for the cause. The target is £5,000.

The minimum length of plait required for a wig is 25cm - hers measures approximately 30cm. She will have it cut during school assembly on Tuesday.

"I am looking forward to the big hair cut but feel a little embarrassed to have it done in front of the whole school. But I understand how necessary it is to raise awareness of Zichron Menachem, which is special in the work it does. And some of my friends have already said they are considering doing the same."

Ilana's mother, Ginni, adds: "We are very proud of Ilana. It is a big thing for a girl to cut her hair so short. She is not worried about that and is only thinking about helping a cancer patient and raising as much money as possible for the charity."

Last updated: 12:22pm, January 27 2011