A Leeds teenager has presented a cheque for £2,155 to Yorkshire Cancer Research after having all his hair shaved off.
14-year-old Alex Conlon, who goes to Abbey Grange Church of England Academy, decided to take on the sponsored challenge after his grandfather, Alan Makinson, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Alan supports cancer patients as a volunteer pianist at the Bexley Wing at St James’s University Hospital.
Alex’s mum Lisa said: “Alex said last year that he wanted to do a sponsored head shave for charity. At the time we laughed it off as another one of Alex’s jokes. In April this year, his granddad was diagnosed with cancer. As soon as we shared the devastating news with Alex, he decided to do it for him.
“We set up an online fundraising page and shared it on social media. Alex set his target at £200. We were absolutely overwhelmed when, in less than 24 hours, he had raised more than that. We changed his target to £500, and again this was smashed in a very short space of time. He raised a fantastic amount, of which we are all very proud.”
Alex Conlon, who has raised £2,155 for Yorkshire Cancer Research, pictured with his grandfather, Alan Makinson, at the Bexley Wing, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds
Alex had his hair shaved off by his family hairdresser at an afternoon tea organised for friends and family.
Lisa said: “Alex was anxious and nervous as the day drew closer, but he never once had any doubts about going through with it. Alex is a massive Leeds Rhinos fan, so we were delighted when he received a video message from the captain of the team, Danny McGuire, wishing him all the best for the event. We had a fantastic afternoon, with more than 30 people watching and cheering him on.”
Darren Aldred, Relationship Officer for West Yorkshire, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Alex. He raised an incredible amount of money to help improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Yorkshire. We’d also like to thank everyone who supported him so generously.”
For more information about fundraising for Yorkshire Cancer Research, please visit www.ycr.org.uk/teamyorkshire.
Notes to Editors
- Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
- We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
- Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
- Current statistics show that 575 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
- We aim to:
- Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
- Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
- Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
- Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
- Campaign for fair and equal access to the very best healthcare services and a greater share of the money spent nationally on research.