Serena S
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Durham teenager's close shave to beat blood cancer

Serena S
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25 Jun 2010

A Durham teenager’s ‘bald’ idea to support his barber’s battle with blood cancer has raised more than £2,500 for charity.

Fergus Chadwick, a pupil at St Leonard’s Catholic Comprehensive School, had his head shaved at the school on 28 May to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research – the charity dedicated to finding better treatments and cures for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.    

The 16-year-old decided on the close shave after hearing that family friend, barber John Rycroft, had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

“It was a huge shock,” says Fergus, “John’s been a big part of life my since I was little: he’s always cut my hair, my Dad’s and my brother’s.

“I’d had long hair for the last five years so I was a bit nervous to say the least – but having my head shaved was a small sacrifice to make to help beat blood cancers.

"John’s treatment is going well and he’s right behind my fundraising for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. Their ground-breaking research makes a massive difference to patients and I wanted to do my bit to help”. 

John, 58, had wanted to shave Fergus’ shoulder-length hair himself but has lost mobility in his fingers due to chemotherapy.  Friend and fellow barber, Councillor Terry Moderate, picked up the clippers in John’s place, helping Fergus raise a fantastic total of more than £2,500 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. 

The teenager, who lives in Witton–le–Wear, near Crook, hopes that his dramatic new haircut, and a Blood Cancer Awareness Week planned to run at his school in the future, will encourage even more people to make a donation.

Fergus says: “I’m really grateful for everyone’s support.  Staff and pupils from all year groups have sponsored me, which is brilliant, and truly a response to the cause that the school can be proud of.

"I’m pleased we’ve already raised so much for such a great cause, but I want to raise as much money as possible for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.  Only with public support can they continue their fantastic work, so all contributions make a massive difference – the more money raised equals more lives saved”.

You can support Fergus by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fergssponsoredheadshave       

Kate White, Director of Fundraising at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, says: “Fergus has put an amazing effort into fundraising for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research! All the money raised will go towards finding better treatments and cures for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma”.