Kenilworth schoolboy shaves head in aid of mother fighting cancer

Matthew Leek, 12, before the shave
Matthew Leek, 12, before the shave
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A Kenilworth schoolboy who is ‘very fond’ of his hair had his head completely shaved this weekend in aid of his mother who is currently fighting cancer.

12-year-old Matthew Leek, who attends Kenilworth School, decided to brave the shave at Gentry Hair Salon in Station Road on Saturday March 11.

Michelle Elvin of Gentry Hair Salon shaving Matthew's head

Michelle Elvin of Gentry Hair Salon shaving Matthew's head

Five of Matthew’s close friends also came on the day to support him by having their own heads shaved. All of it was in aid of Cancer Research UK.

His mother Ashley Anderson said: “I’m incredibly proud of him. He did it all off his own back.

“He’s very fond of his hair - he gets it cut every three to four weeks, so having his hair shaved off was a big thing for him.”

Ashley, of Clinton Lane, was diagnosed with cancer in October last year, and Matthew felt he had to do something to support her.

Back row: Gentry staff with Ashley Anderson (second from left) Front row: Matthew's friends Miles, Matthew Williams, Josh Edwards, and Noah Port. Bottom right: Matthew Leek.

Back row: Gentry staff with Ashley Anderson (second from left) Front row: Matthew's friends Miles, Matthew Williams, Josh Edwards, and Noah Port. Bottom right: Matthew Leek.

It is not the first time someone in Matthew’s family has suffered from the disease - his grandmother and Ashley’s mother Ann Anderson died of cancer in 1989 when Ashley was just 14.

Along with giving up chocolate, he decided he was going to get his hair shaved to raise money for the charity Cancer Research UK, and set up a Just Giving page on his own so people could sponsor him in advance. On his page, he declared he would ‘get revenge’ on cancer, and that he loved his hair but not as much as his mum.

Matthew and Ashley approached Gentry to see if they would shave his hair as Matthew had been getting his hair cut there since he was very young. The salon’s manager Michelle Elvin said they were happy to take part.

Michelle said: “We were just really pleased to be asked to do this.

“I thought it was lovely because Matthew is very fussy about his hair, he always likes it cut in a certain style.

“I was very emotional actually because it’s a big thing for a lad of his age to do.”

£320 was raised by the salon on the day, and Matthew’s Just Giving page has reached more than £1,600.

Matthew and Ashley will also be tackling Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in Sutton Coldfield in June. The woman-only event allows boys up to the age of 12 to enter, so this will be the last chance Matthew will get to run it with Ashley.

Anyone wishing to donate should click here