Close shave for Colne charity beard growers

Lancashire Telegraph: Katie Dowd with, from left, Jak Moore, Azz Hurst, Brad Gore and Tom Vent, who grew beards for charity Katie Dowd with, from left, Jak Moore, Azz Hurst, Brad Gore and Tom Vent, who grew beards for charity

IT was a case of beard today, gone tomorrow for a group of fundraisers, inspired by a mother who battled cancer.

Around 10 friends of 27-year-old Katie Dowd, from Colne, grew beards for four months to raise money for Pendleside Hospice and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

But on Friday night, all but one were shaved off in public at The Venue, in Albert Road.

Five years ago, Katie, who has who a daughter, Abbie, and a son, Leo, was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Following her diagnosis, Katie faced two months of gruelling radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, and has been cancer-free since July 2009. She said: “I’ve been in remission for four years, but they don’t say you’ve got the all-clear until you’ve been in remission for five years.

“The lads all decided to raise money so we went for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which helps people under 24 with cancer and treated me at its unit in Leeds, and also Pendleside Hospice, because it is a local charity.”

So far the group, which includes Ryan Monk, Marcus Singleton, Sean Beck, Brad Gore, Jak Moore and Tom Vent, have raised around £1,500 for the charities. But Shaun Garvey, dodged the razor after he decided he liked his beard so much he wanted to keep it.

Former Park High School student Katie said: “They are all friends I know from around Colne and from school.

“I think some of them became very attached to their beards. There were some pretty interesting looks.

“We hired The Venue for the shave-off and did it up to look like a barber’s. Ryan lives in Australia and grew his over there, but he came back for Christmas.”

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