Holmfirth teenagers Ryan Banks and Max Holdsworth are set for a little gentle ribbing from their mates – after having their heads shaved for charity.
But the 15-year-olds, who attend Holmfirth High School, were willing to sacrifice their crowning glories to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity – after Ryan’s step-brother, 29-year-old Ben Turner underwent operations to remove a brain tumour.
Musical actor Ben had a tumour removed in 2013 and was warned that it might grow back in five years. When the growth came back, he underwent more surgery in May.
When surgeons at London’s Charing Cross Hospital told him they needed to operate again, producers of the BBC documentary series Hospital asked if they could follow his story. Viewers followed Ben’s story – from diagnosis through to his four-hour operation and his recovery.
Ben, who is well known in local theatrical circles, has raised about £17,500 for the Brain Tumour Charity since 2013.
So Ryan and Max decided to do their bit by having their heads shaved at Cutting Crew in Holmfirth.
Ryan’s mum, Jo Tuner, said: “They have been preparing to do this for ages. Ryan just wanted to do something to put towards the charity which has been so supportive of Ben and his mate Max was right behind him.
“The whole family went after school on the last day of term. It’s only a small salon, but we all packed in. Another friend live streamed it for the rest of the class to see. They have some sponsorship money still to collect once they get back to school, but so far they have collected about £700.”
She said: “Ryan is continually wearing his baseball cap because he is missing his hair! I think he’s planning some further fundraising. We will definitely be doing something.”
Ben’s surgery was successful, but a few complications meant a return to hospital. He had a number of seizures and has had a “VP shunt” – a procedure which allows fluid to be drained from his brain to his stomach.
Jo said: “Ben is back at home after weeks and weeks of being in and out of hospital. He seems to be on the mend and is on the road to recovery. The next step is chemotherapy, but the tumour has completely been removed.”
To donate to Ben’s fund go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/benjamin-james-turner