A woman who suffers daily abuse because of her facial hair is ecstatic after learning she will be undergoing laser treatment to get rid of it.
Morecambe mum-of-two Cheryl Monks, 32, who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) at the age of 12, suffers from excessive hair growth on her face and elsewhere.
Spending up to £2,000 a year on razors, she has been fighting for six years for 10 courses of the treatment on the NHS, which will cost thousands. But now after her local GP secured the treatment for her, she said: “I’m going to be a real girl. I was in tears when I found out. I’ve suffered years and years of abuse and finally something is happening.
“My family are over the moon. My son Jack, six, said: ‘I don’t mind your prickles’ and my daughter Sharon, 14, is ecstatic. She hugged me for the first time in two years. I’m not having this treatment for vanity reasons, it is a disfigurement. I look in the mirror and I just see a thing.
“I will feel like a girl and that’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
Since she was 12, Cheryl, who works as a parts adviser at Pye Motors, Morecambe, has suffered constant abuse and name calling, some by complete strangers in the street. She has also been targeted by trolls on the internet.
Following last year’s Eurovision song contest, she was sent pictures on Facebook of bearded drag queen act Conchita Wurst saying: “Can you see the resemblance?”
But Cheryl, of Clarence Street, said: “People from all over the world apologised for what was said to me. Even Conchita Wurst himself sent me a message saying, ‘I really apologise, you shouldn’t be penalised.’
“We are all unique. People should judge a person by who they are, not what they look like.”
Cheryl, who has had cancer as well as suffering from PCOS, has constantly campaigned for treatment for herself and others whose lives are blighted by the condition.
She set up the Inspiration Foundation forum and support group on Facebook, which currently has 7,000 girls and women with PCOS as members.
She said: “The treatment will raise my self-esteem.”