A ‘life shaving’ deed by plucky Cupar boy

Toby and Richie with Ozan from the Turkish barbers in Cupar
Toby and Richie with Ozan from the Turkish barbers in Cupar

A brave Cupar boy who was diagnosed with leukaemia just before Christmas has had a hair-raising experience in aid of charity.

Toby Etheridge (9), a pupil at St Columba’s Primary School, has just embarked on a three-year ‘magical journey’ in a bid to defeat the disease.

His treatment involves chemotherapy and the inevitable loss of his hair - but the fun-loving youngster decided to turn what could have been an ordeal into a fund-raiser.

Toby asked if he could dye his hair purple before it fell out during the treatment - and dad Richie not only gave the idea his blessing, he supported Toby by dyeing his own hair purple too.

Toby’s big sister Jessica (17) got in on the act by cutting her long hair and donating it to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes real hair wigs for young cancer patients, then Toby and Richie went the whole hog and shaved their heads - with full support from mum Alison, who’s also sporting a purple streak in solidarity.

It was all part of the ‘Big Buzz’ fund-raising campaign being run by CLIC Sargent, a charity that supports children with cancer. Since it began in 2010, the Big Buzz has raised more than £400,000, with the Etheridge family raising more than £1800 in the space of just a few weeks through their Just Giving page.

Toby was diagnosed with leukaemia on December 12 last year on his granddad’s 80th birthday. He’d been referred to specialists by his GP with suspected anaemia.

Said Alison: “Since Toby was diagnosed the support from CLIC Sargent has been brilliant. We didn’t realise the extent of the work they do and the support on offer from the social work team.”

Richie, Alison, Jessica and brother Samuel (14) have also been able to stay at the CLIC villa in Edinburgh while Toby’s undergoing hospital treatment.

“ CLIC Villa is a lifesaver when Toby has a theatre day,” said Alison.

“It allows us to travel the night before and have a decent night’s sleep in a beautiful, well-kept house across the road from Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital.”

To support Toby on his magical journey, visit his 
justgiving page: www.just