Loving son, Josh Hartley, 23 from Accrington, is shaving his head to fundraise for East Lancashire Hospice in honour of his mum who has been bravely battling terminal breast cancer for the last 5 years.
Josh’s mother, Amanda, 50, has been receiving support from the hospice since she was first diagnosed. Over the years, she has particularly enjoyed attending the creative arts department and has done everything from knitting to making papier-mâché models.
The inspirational mum-of-one even featured in a ‘Calendar Girls’ style calendar to raise money for the hospice. She most recently participated in the hospice’s virtual choir and sang ‘All you need is love’ by the Beatles with other day patients, staff and volunteers.
Amanda said: “The friends I’ve made at the hospice as a day patient are phenomenal. We all support one another and even message each other on Facebook. We all can’t wait to get back to the hospice.”
The family recently received the news that her cancer had spread further with Amanda having to endure another gruelling round of chemotherapy. However she remains positive and has been receiving a new immunotherapy drug which will continue once she has completed her chemotherapy treatment.
Amanda proudly commented: “Josh likes being out with his friends but he always considers me. He even makes the effort to come home for his half hour lunch break from work just to help me out.
“Josh’s work, MendIT in Burnley, have been really accommodating too, as he’s been able to come to my chemotherapy appointments with me. We’re definitely a close family.”
The idea for the close cut came about during a family holiday to Majorca in 2019. Amanda said: “Josh had enjoyed a few drinks and gets brave with his decisions when he’s had a drink. He said he’d shave off his hair the next time I lost my hair through my treatments.
“I didn’t think anything of it after that but when I started chemotherapy again earlier this year, Josh spoke to his dad about shaving his hair off to support me and to raise money for the hospice.”
Josh commented: “I have decided to brave the shave and have my head shaved at the end of March, so that my mum isn’t alone in her journey and to raise much needed funds for the hospice.
“I thought a head shave would be the best way to support my mum this time around, as I know how much losing her hair affects her. It’s also the reason I started growing my hair in the first place. Plus, I know that the hospice must be struggling as a result of the pandemic, so I just wanted to do what I can.”
Josh has been growing his hair for the past 4 years with nothing more than a trim or two on his visits to the hairdressers.
Amanda was surprised to learn of her kind-hearted son’s plan to lob off his long locks to raise funds for the hospice, as she said: “I was surprised that he came up with the idea, especially knowing how protective he is of his hair, but everybody that knows us as a family knows how important the hospice is to us.
“He’s doing really well as he set himself a target of raising £300 for the hospice, but he’s already reached over £2,000.”