Harrogate man’s head shave raises £5,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research

Date: 13 October 2021

A Harrogate man’s head shave has raised more than £5,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Mike Carthy let his hair and beard grow for over four months before it was shaved off to raise funds for the charity.

He said:

“I wanted to go a step further than just shaving my hair off. I grew a beard for the first time ever and as it got longer and scruffier, I found that people grew more and more interested in what I was doing.”

Mike was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2006 and has fundraised for Yorkshire Cancer Research ever since. His wife, Ros, is also chair of the charity’s Wharfedale Volunteer Group.

The couple, who have been married for almost 42 years, were keen to keep up their fundraising efforts even during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was furthered by the loss of their sister-in-law to cancer early last year.

Mike said: “I was wracking my brain for something that could raise funds even while we all had to socially distance. It was important to me to keep supporting the work of the charity, despite many fundraising events being unable to go ahead.”

A head shave struck Mike as the perfect way to raise funds whilst keeping people’s spirits up during lockdown.

Although Ros was not a fan of Mike’s new look, she was prepared to accept it because it was raising vital funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The 64-year-old began growing his hair at Christmas and finally shaved it off in April. Mike gave the honour of shaving his hair to his wife, who was glad to say goodbye to it.

He said: “I went from a fairly presentable chap at Christmas, to someone very overgrown and scruffy, to all of a sudden being completely bald - eyebrows included.”

He continued: “It’s been such a tough year for everyone, and I wanted to make sure there was some humour for everyone to enjoy.

“Everyone who got involved was so generous. It’s been a difficult year for everybody, but people really rallied behind the fundraiser and had a lot of fun with it, which meant that we raised a really fantastic amount.”

The money raised will go towards funding vital research in the region, and will help to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer in Yorkshire.

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