A TERMINALLY ill little girl from Basingstoke, who suffers from a rare condition, is the inspiration behind a charity headshave.

Keira Elmer was a happy and healthy child until the age of three when she started suffering seizures.

She was eventually diagnosed with Alpers Syndrome in June last year, by which point her health had rapidly deteriorated.

The condition is so rare it affects just one in 100,000 children.

Now aged five, Keira is blind and unable to move or communicate.

Basingstoke Gazette:

She cannot eat and suffers seizures in all four limbs and her face.

Vanda Williams, who met Keira’s mother Liz Whitman at a Basingstoke Weight Watchers’ group, has decided to shave her head for The Lily Foundation for Mitochondrial Research in honour of Keira.

Vanda will lose her locks at Queen Mary’s College on June 4 to mark her 10th anniversary of being a Weight Watchers’ leader.

Miss Whitman, from Oakley, hopes that raising money for research into the condition will result in a cure being found, so other families do not have to suffer the same pain she has.

She told The Gazette: “We could lose her at any moment in time. We are taking it day by day and making the most of every day that we have got her. There will come a time when she will grow some wings and give up the fight and pass away. But until that day arrives we are making as many memories as we can.”

Referring to the day she found out Keira had Alpers Syndrome, the mother-of-two said: “Our whole world was turned upside down. It’s horrendous.”

Miss Whitman, who has been a Weight Watchers’ member for 10 years, described her leader Vanda as a “brave lady”.

She added: “It’s absolutely lovely. I can’t thank her enough for raising awareness.”

Vanda will be supported by a team of 36 cyclists when she shaves her head, who are preparing to cycle between London and Brighton to also raise funds for The Lily Foundation.

She said: “In my 10 years as a leader I am proud to have been involved in helping so many people to improve their health and outlook on life. There is a real sense of community at my Weight Watchers’ classes and my members support each other through good and bad times, which is why it’s important for us to help fundraise for The Lily Foundation for Mitochodrial Research.”