A kind-hearted teenager had the chop to help a cause close to his heart.
Lewis Keenan, 14, started growing his hair the moment his friend Alex Turner was diagnosed with a rare form of throat cancer, so that he could one day chop it off in a bid to help others.
The St Wilfrid’s RC College pupil was given his new look on Tuesday at Stoney’s Barber Shop, in Laygate, South Shields.
Lewis has raised around £300 for Alex’s charity, Alex’s Angels Foundation, which will financially support families with children going through a cancer diagnosis, and is also giving his hair to the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for children with cancer.
Lewis was inspired to take on the challenge after Alex was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, in November 2014, when she was just 14 years old.
The pair have grown up together, as Lewis’ mum, Joanne Brennan is Alex’s godmother.
Lewis said: “We grew up together and when Alex was diagnosed I knew I wanted to help in some way, so I decided straight away to grow my hair then get sponsored to cut it off once it was long.
“It was a shock to see myself with short hair again but I’m quite proud about how much I’ve raised.
“Alex is really inspirational and I’ll do more to help her in the future if I can.”
Mum Joanne and little sister Sophia, six, are proud of Lewis for doing something to help young people with cancer.
Joanne said: “It’s a lot of money that he’s raised – his teachers and everyone sponsored him to do it and I’m really proud of him.
“It was horrendous watching Alex go through everything that she did, I’m really close to her, she’s my goddaughter and I’ll always be there for her.
“Lewis is such a selfless lad, he’d do anything to help anyone and it’s a pleasure to have him as a son.
“Sophia is so proud of him as well. She’s been telling all her friends what her big brother has done.”
Alex, 17, of Westoe Road, South Shields, is now cancer free.
Since being diagnosed, she’s raised more than £53,000 with the help of her friends, family and even strangers.
She’s using the money to start a foundation to financially support families in the same position.
She said: “I’m really proud of Lewis, I’m really overwhelmed by what he’s done. I’m just so excited to get started with the foundation and help families.”