HIS ears may be feeling the cold now but Olly Scholefield doesn’t regret braving the shave in honour of his nephew for one second.
The dad-of-two was left devastated when he discovered his two-year-old nephew Fergus had been diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer late last year.
A large tumour was removed from the top of the youngster’s spinal cord and he underwent emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain before being admitted to the oncology ward at Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he has spent the last three months on and off.
Inspired to raise money for the hospital, Olly resolved to lay down his razor for two months in December.
But after he and his three brothers agreed to organise a sponsored walk on the Malvern Hills in aid of Fergus, the 43-year-old found himself inundated with messages from friends and family urging him to keep growing the beard.
He duly obliged and the facial fuzz was finally shaved off at the end of the walk on Sunday.
Although he had only planned to get rid of the beard, things didn’t quite go exactly as planned.
“While I was having my beard cut I announced I would have my hair sheared off if we could raise £200 within five minutes,” Olly told The Observer.
“Next thing someone had grabbed a megaphone and just like an auctioneer, they began working the crowd until the total reached £200 – I couldn’t believe it!
“Fergus was amazing during the charity walk, giving everyone high fives and telling anyone who would listen how funny uncle Olly looked getting his beard and hair cut.”
The service manager has raised £2,300 from his beard shave and impromptu haircut while proceeds from the walk and other family fund-raising events for the hospital come to a total of more than £25,000.
The Wellesbourne resident admitted both he and Fergus’ family had been completely overwhelmed by the messages of support and generous donations received so far.
He added: “It has been unbelievable how much interest there has been in the charity challenges and I cannot thank everyone who has donated enough.
“Having 92 days of beard growth was, at times, itchy and uncomfortable, not to mention the odd looks and comments I received as I started to look more and more like Tom Hanks in the film Castaway.
“However it pales into insignificance when compared to the challenges Fergus and other children like him face every day.
“I have cold ears now but I am so pleased I could do my bit to help raise money and awareness and show my support for Fergus.
“I am still in awe of how brave he is and how, through it all, he has remained such a positive and bubbly little boy. As his battle continues, so will the love and support from all his family and friends.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/Olly-Scholefield1 to donate.