Mom battling terminal cancer has hair made into diamond for daughter

Danielle Callaghan and daughter. (Photo: CATERS/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)
Danielle Callaghan and daughter. (Photo: CATERS/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

A young mom battling terminal cancer has had a lock of hair made into a £10 000 (around R190 000) diamond for her daughter.

Danielle Callaghan (30) from Kent in England was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer last year, just two months after giving birth to a daughter, Joey, now 18 months.

The young woman was told the devastating news that she was terminally ill after doctors sent her for an ultrasound.

The mom discovered the Against Breast Cancer campaign – which was an idea to create the world’s most precious diamond – on Instagram as the charity put out a call looking for someone to get involved.

Danielle decided to put herself forward for the campaign, not knowing about the precious gift her daughter would end up receiving.

The diamond is being held at the Centre for Cancer Immunology at Southampton Hospital where Against Breast Cancer’s research is done.

“I saw their advert on Instagram looking for someone to get involved and thought I’d put myself forward,” Danielle said.

“So, I got in touch and found out more which is when they told me about their diamond idea which involved using a lock of hair, and I thought it was a really unique and quirky idea.

“It was also a great opportunity for me to share my story.”

Danielle Callaghan and family

Both hair and diamonds are made of carbon, which is how the team at Against Breast Cancer came up with the idea to turn hair into a diamond.

LifeGem, a diamond-making company, recreated the natural conditions that make a diamond in a lab and turned Danielle’s lock of hair into a perfect 1.59-carat diamond.

“Their plan was to make the diamond ‘the most precious in the world’ because, although it might not be thousands of years old, it carries my story which affects millions of people every year.

“As soon as I got to talking with them, I loved the idea and couldn’t wait to get on board.

“The idea of being able to give something that could be considered ‘the most precious’ to my daughter after I’m gone, is beyond touching.

“At first, the Against Breast Cancer team’s intention had been to auction off the diamond for someone to purchase, but they decided not to do that in the end because they wanted me to be able to give the diamond to my daughter, Joey.

“I was so, so touched when they said this – I cried for ages!” Danielle said.

The diamond is now a symbol for the charity’s fundraising and people’s donations on the website up its value.

Since her diagnosis, the young mom has undergone six rounds of chemotherapy and two rounds of “targeted therapy” therapy to shrink the cancer, and while the disease is still terminal, the tumours have shrunk, making the cancer more manageable

But despite all of this, the mom of one is using the Against Breast Cancer campaign to raise awareness of the disease.

“I’m so glad I put myself forward for the campaign – it’s been great to be involved with something that can help others and give them hope,” Danielle said.

Diamond necklace

“It’s definitely been a long process for me since my diagnosis to a point of happiness and positivity, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“I couldn’t have got to where I am now without the amazing support of my family and friends.

“People in a similar position to myself need to try to think of their cancer as not the end of life – but the start of a new one.”

Source: Magazine Features

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