Ben Fletcher from Twickenham has not had his hair cut for three years. This Christmas, however, his long locks will be getting the chop in a bid to raise £1,000 for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
Twenty five year old Ben, who is currently setting up his own business, first became aware of the work of the Foundation when his young cousin, Mariella, who is now 13, was diagnosed with the rare and incurable liver disease, biliary atresia.
“I know that CLDF were really supportive to my aunty and her family when Mariella was little, and they have provided plenty of useful information to them over the years.,” says Ben. Happily, Mariella is doing really well now although she has to take medication and has regular check-ups to ensure her liver is still functioning properly. She will need the support of CLDF as she gets older and has to manage her liver condition for herself, so it’s a charity which is important to us as a family.”
A planned trip to South America next year meant that a head shave was the obvious fundraiser for Ben. “Having long hair in the jungle is not the best idea so I thought I would go for it and shave my head to the scalp” he says. “I must admit I am slightly nervous and dreading the thought of a cold head. A bald head in South America is not a good idea either because the sun is so intense. Christmas is therefore the ideal time for the big shave as it will allow for a couple of months’ growth. I’m going to donate the hair to the Little Princess Trust so two charities will benefit from my sudden change of image!”
Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this however, we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations, so we’re delighted to hear that Ben is doing this for us. We look forward to seeing his new look!”
You can support Ben’s head shave by going to: www.justgiving.com then searching ‘Bens big hair cut’.
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.