Imagine being a 32-year-old woman and having to shave your chin three times a day. This is what Cheryl Howe has faced since she was 12, all thanks to the condition Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Mum-of-two Cheryl, from Morecambe, Lancashire, had thought her hairy problem had finally come to an end when the NHS agreed to pay for laser treatment to stop her bristles growing. But in January the NHS grant was withdrawn after it was decided the treatment was ‘too cosmetic.’

So we helped to publicise Cheryl’s story in the national newspapers and websites to help raise awareness about the devastating effects of PCOS.

Cheryl was diagnosed with the hormone-altering condition when she was 12, after her mum grew concerned by her rapidly-growing hair and premature female development. Since then, she has faced a lifetime of horrific bullying and torment because of her facial, leg and chest hair.  

Although the most obvious symptom of her condition is excessive hair growth, Cheryl has also endured multiple miscarriages, and even fought cancer four times, all of which has been as a result of her condition.

Three years ago, Cheryl became so depressed by her condition, and the toll it took upon her ability to be a normal woman, that she took drastic measures and attempted to take her own life – but fortunately, did not see it through.

After she was bullied by wicked online trolls and grew frightened of leaving her home, Cheryl received the support of Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst and fellow PCOS-sufferer Harnaam Kaur, both of whom gave her the confidence to step out of the shadows and talk openly about her lengthy battle with her ‘devastating disfigurement’.

Cheryl hopes that her confidence would encourage more PCOS sufferers to speak out, and ultimately, catch the attention of medical professionals who wrongly consider the condition rare.

She also hopes to find another way of funding the laser treatment which would finally put a stop to the distressing side effect of her condition, which means she spends more than £2,000 a year on razors and shaving cream alone.

Do you know somebody whose life has been turned upside down by a rare or unusual condition? Or is there somebody in your life who has been denied an NHS grant for life-changing treatment?   

We’d love to hear from you.

Call Lucy on 0161 237 1066 or email [email protected]