Uncle to shave off coveted locks after niece beats terminal cancer

A PRESTON man, who has grown his hair for more than two years is to shed his locks in support of his young niece who has beaten terminal cancer.

Monday, 15th August 2016, 2:32 pm
Updated Monday, 15th August 2016, 3:34 pm
Gavin Howard with his niece Pippa Cole, 4, who has beaten terminal cancer

Four-year-old Pippa Cole from Garstang, was diagnosed with terminal brain, spine and spinal fluid cancer -she has been fighting the disease she was just 18-months -old.

Last month doctors told the family Pippa was cancer-free.

Her uncle Gavin Howard, brother to Pippa’s mum Michelle, said the family have been overwhelmed by health staff and the support of Macmillan nurses and he wanted to ‘give something back.’

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Gavin Howard, uncle of Pippa Cole who is to shave his head for Macmillan Cancer Support Site manager Gavin has been growing his hair for two years

Building site manager Gavin, 37, said: “The work that Macmillan nurses have done to support my family and friends is second to none, they are so supportive and helpful.

“I love my hair and my beard, it has taken me over two years to get it like this and it will be sad to see it go, but, if I can raise £500 I will shave all my head hair off and if I can reach £1000 the head hair and beard hair will all go!”

Gavin’s wife Kirsty has volunteered to plait his hair for the charity hair cut ,which will take place outside Sovereign Jewellers in Preston’s Friargate on Saturday August 20 starting at 11am.

Family and friends will be taking it turns to chop off a plait for every donation and shoppers too will be invited to have a go. All the proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer support as part of their ‘Brave the shave’ campaign.

Gavin Howard, uncle of Pippa Cole who is to shave his head for Macmillan Cancer Support Site manager Gavin has been growing his hair for two years

Gavin added: “Macmillan is such a brilliant cause, so, I’m asking nicely please can every body get behind me and support this great charity

“Without the support of this great charity lots of people would be struggling even more than they need to.”

Pippa Belle Cole was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour called an ependymoma Grade 3 at 18 months old.

The brave youngster underwent several operations including a 10-hour brain surgery followed by a gruelling 13 months of intensive chemotherapy.

Her dad Scott Cole and mum Michelle Howard set-up a campaign to help fund a life-saving trip to America so Pippa could receive Proton Beam Therapy but were left devastated when tests showed the cancer had spread to her spine. She was given further gruelling rounds of radiotherapy.

Last month the family were told against all the odds Pippa no longer had cancer.

Michelle said: “We don’t know when or if it will return but we do know that we have been given a miracle and our amazing little girl is cancer free.”

To help support the Macmillan cause visit bravetheshave.org.uk and search Gavin Howard. Donation buckets are also in place at Sovereign Jewellers.