WHEN a devastating health diagnosis turned Charlie Jenkins’ life on its head, he decided it was time to let his hair down.
Charlie, 23, whose stepfather, David Hastie runs LMD Skip Hire in South London, let his hair grow and grow… and grow.
Now, a year after being left reeling from being told he has multiple sclerosis, Charlie has made the cut and had his flowing locks cropped to be turned into wigs for children receiving cancer treatment by the Little Princess Trust.
Charlie, now sporting a buzz cut, has also raised £2,500 from donors who supported his hair-raising effort – including £500 from LMD Skip Hire, which covers a wide area to the south of the capital in Surrey, Kent and South London.
The funds will go to the MS Society to help fund research into the condition.
According to stepdad David, the success of the sponsored haircut and support from donors – including LMD Skip Hire customers – has stunned Charlie after a difficult period which has seen his life turned around by the illness.
He had been enjoying life working as a ski instructor in Canada when Covid-19 hit. Charlie returned home and was working with a charity in a hospital when he suddenly collapsed.
He was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a lifelong autoimmune condition. There is currently no cure, and as the condition progresses it can leave patients with a range of disabilities and problems with mobility, vision or balance.
As Charlie waited for treatment, he pledged to do something to help others.
“What he decided from Day One was: ‘If I’ve got this, I can fight it,’” adds David. “He found out about the Little Princess Trust, which provides wigs for people – particularly young children – who have lost their hair through medical treatments, such as cancer.
“He thought ‘If I grow my hair, while I’m getting this treatment, in a year’s time, I’ll be able to help them as well.’”
More than 100 viewers tuned into Charlie’s Instagram page to see him being given the chop at LMD Skip Hire’s offices.
David added: “He’s over the moon. He only thought he’d get £1,000.”
To support Charlie, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/charlie-jenkins69