Pupils make a bald show of support for best friend with cancer

Two teenage boys have had their heads shaved for charity in solidarity with a friend who has cancer.


Josh Beach, 14, and James Cohen, 15, have been best friends with the patient, who has not been named, since attending Hertsmere Jewish Primary together as four-year-olds.

They were devastated when he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer, earlier this year.

When Josh, now at Yavneh College, heard his friend was going to lose his hair because of chemotherapy, he decided to do something to show support. He and James, an Immanuel student, had their heads shaved at Overgrown salon in Radlett, surrounded by 40 friends and relatives. The first cut was made by their 14-year-old friend, who is undergoing intensive therapy.

The boys have already raised in excess of £16,000, with proceeds split between Chai Cancer Care and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Josh said afterwards that he felt cold but proud. “We’d like to thank everyone for their donations and kind words on our fundraising page.

“We wish our friend better and want him to know we are here to support him through everything.”

James added: “As we do a lot together, we decided that if one of us is going to lose their hair, we all will.

Matt Kay — joint owner of the hair salon, who donated his services — was impressed by the duo’s dedication. “We completely wet shaved their heads so they are as bald as a baby’s bum!”

Hailey Amani, regional fundraiser for the Teenage Cancer Trust, said that “for two people so young to show such incredible support and solidarity with their friend is truly inspiring.

“As a charity, we rely on voluntary donations to ensure young people with cancer and their families have access to the best possible care and support. A huge thank-you to Josh and James for helping to raise awareness and funds.”

Chai also expressed thanks for the boys’ “incredible fundraising”.

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