The bravery and determination of a decorated soldier, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, has inspired friends and family and people across the world, to come out fighting in his honour.
Whalley man Michael Hodgson (29) who has served with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment for 12 years, was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer in May.
He then took the brave decision to raise money for charity by shaving off his hair before it started to fall out during chemotherapy.
This inspired several of his friends who wanted to show their support to Michael, affectionately known as Hodge, to do the same so a grand fund-raising day has been organised on Sunday at the De Lacy Arms when 14 lads and one brave lass, Niamh Mahon, whose dad Mick is landlord at the pub, can lose their locks at the same time.
And as his Army career has taken him all over the world, friends of Michael’s in Australia and America are also going bald under the tagline #hairlesswithhodge.
Two of them Down Under have already taken the plunge but one of his friends in the States plans to do it later this month on his wedding night!
I can’t believe how much it has grown into such an event. But I have a lot of friends around Whalley who I grew up with and see on a regular basisMichael Hodgson
A former pupil of St Augustine’s RC High School, Billington, Michael, who was honoured with the Jubilee Medal for service in Iraq and Afghanistan, has just finished an intensive series of chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the Christie Hospital, Manchester. Doctors have still not been able to identify the type of cancer Michael is suffering from after it started in his sinuses.
Now living in Manchester with his mum, Maria Lomas-Hodgson, Michael is looking forward to returning to his home village for the event on Sunday.
He said: “I can’t believe how much it has grown into such an event. But I have a lot of friends around Whalley who I grew up with and see on a regular basis.”
Danielle Roberts of Longworth Road, Billington, a friend of Michael’s for several years, has organised the event with her sister Kirsty to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support as part of the charity’s Brave the Shave project for August.
Danielle said: “The response so far has been incredible from people who really want to show their support for Michael with donations of prizes and also items for the day.
“He set a fund-raising target of £1,000 but we think it may go way above that.”
Kicking off at noon the day includes a barbecue, karaoke and an auction with a chance to bid for some fantastic prizes including a week’s holiday at a villa in Turkey.
There will also be a raffle, gift stall and bouncy castle.
For more information and to donate to the cause please go to the following links: bravetheshave.org.uk/ or Michael’s fund-raising page is https://bravetheshave.org.uk/shavers/michael-hodgson/