Ivy, aged nine, has been receiving treatment for a brain tumour since 2016, and started chemotherapy in July of this year, which caused her hair to fall out. After Ivy told James how worried she was about losing her hair, James and another classmate decided to shave their heads on 28 September, just 11 days before his birthday.
James has raised over £1300 for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading charity for children and young people with cancer, which has supported Ivy and her family with emotional, practical and financial support, during her treatment.
James Mahoney 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.1 as it wouldn't be so shocking. I said no, as I was determined to have it all shaved off. My hair will grow back and hair doesn't make you who you are, your personality does.
"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."
Rachael Meaton, Ivy’s mum, said: “Ivy thinks it’s brilliant that her friends have shaved their heads. 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.”
Josanne Richardson, Fundraising Engagement Manager at CLIC Sargent, said: “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.
“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.”
Donate to James’ JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/donna-morton7