COMING to terms with the tragic loss of a loved one to cancer can take many forms, but for two plucky Alton Towers’ employees this Sunday, it all came to a head – literally.
Chris Brian and Bernie Jenkins from the resort’s First Responder team both took part in the MacMillan Cancer Shave or Style challenge and were sponsored to either have their head completely shaved, or to have it styled either in an outrageous way or one that represented the charity.
They were joined by Sam Sharpe from the control team – who only decided to get involved on the day by having his beloved beard shaved off.
Bernie chose to have her hair styled with yellow flowers, and explained that she wanted to do this after losing her mother to cancer a few weeks ago.
She said: “My mum would have loved to have seen me going through this.
“In fact knowing her, she’d have tried to get me to have my head shaved rather than just styled.
“It was such a shock to lose her, but the MacMillan nursing team were just brilliant so anything I can do to make them more available to other people going through what I went through is worth it.”
Chris also wanted to get involved, after losing his uncle to cancer at the same time as Bernie’s mother.
He said: “We’ve already raised more than £300, and that doesn’t include the bucket money collected on the day, which we think will add up to another £250.
“My uncle would have been so proud of me. He’d also have laughed his head off to see me now with no hair or eyebrows, but it’s worth it for what we can bring to the charity.”
The three fundraisers were supported on the day by crowds of friends and Alton Towers’ employees, who turned out in force to watch the dramatic hairstyles take shape in the main staff rest area on Sunday afternoon. Bernie said: “Seeing so many people there to cheer us on was fantastic, and we are really grateful to them all for coming along and sponsoring us.
We will share the money between MacMillan Derby and Douglas MacMillan in Stoke and hopefully it will help someone else who needs their support in the future.”