EAST Preston A-level students have shaved their heads to support a 14-year-old with a rare form of bone cancer.
Liam Cruise, 17, organised the charity event to support his brother Connor and raise money for CLIC Sargent.
Connor, 14, is currently undergoing treatment for osteosarcoma, which was diagnosed in his lower leg in October.
A year-ten student at The Angmering School, Connor has been having chemotherapy at Southampton General Hospital’s Piam Brown ward before surgery on January 19 to remove the tumour.
Liam said: “We really wanted to show Connor how much people supported him while he goes through this difficult time in his life. We knew that he would lose his hair while receiving chemo and that if he was going to be bald, so would we.”
Joining him in the head shave were friends Jonathon Dommet, Dominic Lee, George Jenkins, William Franklin and Ben Cornacchia.
‘Chief barber’ for the event was Connor and Liam’s father, Richard Cruise, a crew manager with West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
He said: “It was a fantastic idea and a great way to support Connor. We wanted as a family to give something back to CLIC Sargent and the hospital for being so supportive to us through what has been a very challenging few weeks.
“We set a modest target of £200 on a JustGiving page and we smashed that in the first hour. I can’t thank people enough for how generous they’ve been. With additional cash donations and the help of Josh Ezzard, a friend and Littlehampton resident who raised an additional £500, we will be well over the £1,000 mark.”
Before the diagnosis, Connor had been complaining of pains in his leg but at first the family thought it might be a football injury or growing pains.
Mum Debbie, who works at Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, had an inkling there might be more to it, so Connor was taken to Willow Green Surgery in Angmering.
His doctor sent him for an X-ray and the same day, the family were called and told to take Connor to hospital.
Richard said Connor is doing well and was home for Christmas before returning to Southampton to continue chemotherapy in the new year.
Richard said the surgeon is planning to remove the bone but there is a possibility Connor will have to have an amputation above the knee. He will be receiving treatment for his condition until the summer.
Connor said: “It was a great evening and everyone has been very supportive. I can’t thank them enough. I can’t believe how much money we’ve raised.”
Money raised through www.justgiving.com/Richard-Cruise will go to CLIC Sargent and any cash or cheques donated will be donated to the Piam Brown ward as a thank you.
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