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Best pals Brave the Shave and feel the cold in aid of cancer charity

PUBLISHED: 14:27 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:32 06 September 2017

Brave the shave at Howies Barber Shop. Left to right, Mike Cartwright, hairdresser James Howard and Chris Ward. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Brave the shave at Howies Barber Shop. Left to right, Mike Cartwright, hairdresser James Howard and Chris Ward. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Neighbours and friends Chris Ward and Mike Cartwright are sporting very different looks after braving the shave for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Brave the shave at Howies Barber Shop. Going under the scissors is Chris Ward and Mike Cartwright. Picture: GREGG BROWNBrave the shave at Howies Barber Shop. Going under the scissors is Chris Ward and Mike Cartwright. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The pair both grew up in Birmingham and by chance ended up living just up the road from one another off Bramford Road in Ipswich, becoming the best of friends.

The pair went under the clippers at Howies Barber Shop in Ipswich on Friday.

Mike, a father of two boys, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February 2014, undergoing two operations and six weeks each of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

He is now on the road to recovery.

Brave the shave at Howies Barber Shop. Getting the chop is Chris Ward. Picture: GREGG BROWNBrave the shave at Howies Barber Shop. Getting the chop is Chris Ward. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Mike, 60, said having his head shaved was a strange experience because it brought back memories of going through treatment.

“I lost my hair once and now it is back off again,” he said.

“I had various side effects to my treatment, including losing my hair.

“My hair loss was more like patchy hair loss though, but touch wood I am one of the lucky ones.

Brave the shave at Howies Barber Shop. Getting the chop is Chris Ward. Picture: GREGG BROWNBrave the shave at Howies Barber Shop. Getting the chop is Chris Ward. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“I went to a big place for my treatment up in Worcester and there were a lot of people there who I think won’t be here today.

“I have lost my mum, my sister-in-law and many of my close friends to cancer.”

Mike said Macmillan has been a huge help to him in his treatment and recovery, helping him with his medication and offering support when he needed it.

The shave was quite a change of style for Chris, a teacher, who had been growing his afro as long as he could for two years.

The father-of-three said he wanted to give something back to a charity that had supported his friends through cancer.

“I knew a guy called Werner Richter, a former lecturer at University College Suffolk as it was then, who died of cancer and Mike has gone through it and is recovering now.

“They have both used Macmillan nurses.

“I hope I never need to use them, I wish no-one needed them, but I am glad they are there.

“I was a bit nervous before the headshave, I was feeling horrible.

“It took me two years to grow 
it and two minutes for it to come off.

“I’m feeling a bit cold now to be honest.”

If you would like to donate to Chris’ Brave the Shave fundraising see here.

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