`

Sheffield schoolboys shave their heads in support of friend with brain tumour

Jack Turner, nine,  and James Mahoney,  10 with Ivy Meaton
Jack Turner, nine, and James Mahoney, 10 with Ivy Meaton

Two schoolboys from Sheffield has shaved their heads in support of their friend who is battling a brain tumour.

James Mahoney, aged 10, and Jack Turner, nine, decided to shave all their hair off after their friend, Ivy Meaton, lost all hers after having chemotherapy.

Ivy and James at the head shave

Ivy and James at the head shave

Nine-year-old Ivy has been receiving treatment for a brain tumour since 2016, and started chemotherapy in July, which caused her hair to fall out.

After Ivy told James how worried she was about losing her hair, so he and his friend decided to shave their heads.  

READ MORE: Sheffield kidney transplant patients celebrate 50 years of life-saving surgery

James has raised more than £1,300 for CLIC Sargent and Jack raised more than £1,000 for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.

James Mahoney before he had his head shaved

James Mahoney before he had his head shaved

James, from Gleadless, said: “I wanted to shave my head so that my girlfriend wouldn't feel like the odd one out, and so I could show my support.

“I know that children can get bullied for having no hair and I didn't want that to happen.

“My mum took me to the barbers near school, and the lady said that she could shave it to no-one as it wouldn't be so shocking.

“I said no, as I was determined to have it all shaved off.

James Mahoney after his head shave

James Mahoney after his head shave

“My hair will grow back and hair doesn't make you who you are, your personality does.

READ MORE: Tragic death of 17-year-old Sheffield United fan, schoolgirl, sports-lover and inspiration to others

"I then found out that an old friend of my sister is also going through chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

“She is the same age as my sister who is 14. So I did this for them too."

James’ family friend Ian Simpson, from Newcastle, also took part in the head shave, which happened at a barber shop in Sharrow Vale. Local businesses in the area also donated to the cause.

Ivy’s mother, Rachael Meaton, said her daughter has new found confidence after what James and his friends did.

Ivy thinks it’s brilliant that her friends have shaved their heads,” she said. 

“She was nervous about other children finding out about her treatment and she was worried about other children taking the mick out of her.

“Now that they’ve shaved their heads, it’s given Ivy the confidence to take off her bandana in class. It’s fantastic.

“I was overwhelmed and really shocked. It’s so amazing and I’m so proud of them.

“It’s so lovely that she has such as a close network of friends, and it’s really helping her feel better as she just can’t wait to get back to school.

“We’ve had amazing support from our CLIC Sargent social worker and when they asked who we’d want the money to be raised for, we knew it had to be them.”

READ MORE: Mercy mission launched in Doncaster as children’s air ambulance scrambled for first time

Fundraising engagement manager at CLIC Sargent, Josanne Richardson, said the money raised will help make a hug difference to families like Ivy’s.

“We’re incredibly grateful to James for raising such an amazing amount of money doing something so inspiring – it’s a wonderful thing to do and we’re happy there has been such a huge reaction to his story,” she said.

“We know that for young people, losing your hair can be really hard to deal with.

“Our CLIC Sargent social workers provide emotional support to young people going through treatment, to help them deal with what’s happening – there is also great advice on the CLIC Sargent website to help as well.

“The money they have raised will make a massive difference to families like Ivy’s, by helping us ensure they are getting the right support they need.”

To donate to the fundraising page visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/donna-morton7