Fundraiser for Pontypool teenager who lost CF battle
9:01am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
A TORFAEN beautician is living her dream as a salon owner but has never forgotten her friend who died aged 19 and is fundraising in her memory.
Lauren Hayes took over the salon Facial Attraction, in New Inn, last year, after working at the salon for ten years, starting out training two days a week, while studying at Coleg Gwent.
It was here that Miss Hayes, 26, first met Sarah Gregory, who was also training to become a beautician and worked as a Saturday girl at First Impressions Beauty Centre, Pontypool.
The pair had dreams of owning their own beauty businesses, but Miss Gregory lost her battle with cystic fibrosis in September 2006 at the age of 19.
Miss Hayes said: “Sarah was naturally funny and she didn’t let her condition hold her back.
“We first met in nursery, but lost contact when we attended different schools, but we became good friends at college.”
Miss Hayes is now fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in Miss Gregory’s memory.
She said: “I have had good opportunities and now run my own business and this is my way of honouring Sarah’s memory.
“She was a really good beautician and we both shared the same dream to own our own beauty business.”
On August 24, Miss Hayes did a charity skydive in Swansea, leaping from 13,000ft.
So far this has raised £1,000 for the charity.
As her salon is celebrating its 20th anniversary, Miss Hayes decided to mark the occasion by holding a fundraising day.
The event, on September 7, will include beauty demonstrations, a raffle, music, refreshments and cakes, between 10am and 4pm at the salon on The High Way.
Miss Gregory’s father, Ian Gregory, has also held fundraisers in his daughter’s memory at his pub, The Little Crown, in Wainfelin and this year’s total is £3,060.
The former Abersychan Comprehensive pupil was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at six weeks old and since then suffered from repeat chest infections.
In 2006, the Pontypool teenage spent more than three months in the University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff, where doctors treated her damaged lungs.
She underwent three operations in a 12-month period to heal holes in her lungs which had collapsed several times.
The treatment usually involves a lung transplant.
But in Miss Gregory's case, that option was closed, because her lungs were stapled to the wall of her chest to stabilise her condition and doctors believe she would suffer too much bleeding if they were removed.
So, her condition deteriorated.
Around 450 mourners gathered to remember the brave Pontnewynydd teenager at her funeral at All Saints Church, after she died peacefully in Llandough Hospital surrounded by loved ones.
To donate to Miss Hayes’ fundraiser call into the salon, Facial Attraction Beauty Salon on The High Way.
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