The parents of five-year-old Lucas Hellowell, who is undergoing chemotherapy to kill off testicular cancer, have described him as their rock.
Lucas, who attends Akroydon Academy in Boothtown, Halifax, has successfully undergone an operation to remove a tumour, and is now having chemotherapy to ensure all the cancer cells are killed off.
After starting to lose his hair due to the treatment, Lucas’ dad Jonathan and uncle Rob Popple had their heads shaved, with proceeds going to the Candelighters’ charity.
Lucas was diagnosed in July and is having a 22-week course of chemotherapy that will finish in January next year.
“It really affects him when he has his double dose, he’s sick with it,” said Lucas’ mum Melissa Speight. “It’s affected his taste buds too, he’s gone off a lot of the foods he used to love. He hates taking his medicine too, that’s the worst thing for him. Normally he’s so active and bubbly, he never shuts up, you don’t get a word in!
“It’s hard seeing him go through something like this. But he just takes everything in his stride. He’s been my rock. Nothing seems to bother him.”
Melissa said she and dad Jonathan noticed something was wrong when getting Lucas dressed one morning.
“It came as a big shock,” Melissa said of the diagnosis. “It was crazy, just like a blur. I broke down at first. The support that everyone has given us has been amazing from Candlelighters, the hospital, Macmillan, family and friends.
“We can’t thank them all enough.”
Jonathan added: “Candlelighters have given us so much so we just wanted to give them something back.
“They provided activities for Lucas when he was in hospital, they’ve given us grants to support us, and they’re sending us on holiday to Centre Parcs next year, which will be great.
“It’s those little things that make such a huge difference. He loves going swimming but he can’t at the minute, but he’ll love it there.”
The head shave has raised more than £900 so far for Candlelighters, which supports families facing children’s cancer in Yorkshire.
To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/robert-popple.