Sons shave heads in solidarity with mum receiving cancer treatment

The boys are also raising money for Chai Cancer Care and Cancer Research UK


Emma Cohen and her four sons, who shaved their heads in solidarity with their mum, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer (Photo: Emma Cohen)

Four brothers have sheared their heads in a sponsored shave and display of solidarity with their mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

The Cohen brothers, Daniel, 27, Harry, 25, James, 22, and Joshua, 18, raised almost £8,000 in donations ahead of Monday’s shave, to be split between Chai Cancer Care and Cancer Research UK.

Their mother, Emma Cohen, 53, said: “When I was diagnosed in September and we sat the boys down to tell them, and that I would soon be beginning chemotherapy, almost immediately, they promised to shave their own heads.

“At first, I was a bit worried and apprehensive about them doing it. I tried to talk them out of it in case one of them didn’t want to but felt pressured by the other three. I didn’t want to put them in that position. I told them from the beginning that if they didn’t feel up to it, that would be fine.

“But they were each absolutely determined and spurred each other on; they were a team. They have been a source of tremendous support for me.”

Together, the family went to Goaties Barber in Radlett, where the boys have been going since they were little. Mario, who donated an hour of his time to do the cuts for free, made the experience “great fun and a real laugh”, said Emma, giving each son a funny haircut before shaving it off. Harry got a mohawk while Joshua got the “professor look”, bald with hair around the edges.

Emma and the family have been “blown away” by the number of donations, coming mostly from friends, family, and work colleagues and which have ranged from a couple of pounds from friends’ children to an anonymous donation of £400

Chai Cancer Care, which has been a “great help” to Emma since being diagnosed, was an “automatic and natural choice” as a cause to support. The charity, which is the Jewish community’s national cancer support organisation, sent T-shirts, aftershave, and water bottles to the boys ahead of the shave.

Son Harry said: “For us, it’s just hair, but for her, it’s a meaningful gesture of support. Mum is really the rock of the family in almost every way and has been for 27 years since Daniel was born. We wouldn’t be the people that we are without her. She’s taught us how to exist in the right way.

“Not only do we love her incredibly deeply, but personally we respect her from the bottom of our hearts.”

Joshua concurred, adding, “We’re not sure if the cuts are an improvement, but we quite like them. It feels strange but in a good way.”

Chai Cancer Care said: “We were so moved to hear of the boys’ fantastic head-shaving initiative dedicated to dear mum Emma. What a wonderful show of support and solidarity from both her family but also friends and loved ones who have helped to raise a magnificent amount for Chai.”

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