Local cousins, Luke Regan and Conor Walsh are both 12 years of age. Conor is in fifth class and Luke in sixth at Gael Scoil Aogáin. They are not only cousins but are also the best of friends. They play football and rugby together and are always at each others houses.
“A few months ago Luke suggested to me that himself and Conor would like to do the shave or dye for cancer and they had researched all the information on it themselves,” said Luke’s mom, Helen.
“Luke wanted to do it for his uncle Joe who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and who, thankfully, is cancer free now. Even though Luke was so young at the time of his uncle’s illness he was still very much aware of the excellent treatment that he received in the palliative care unit in Tralee General
Hospital. Luke decided on having his head shaved as he didn’t really fancy going around with pink hair,” said Helen.
“As Luke made his Confirmation in February we decided that it would be best to wait until after this. We decided on the date of May 15th and started asking close family and friends for sponsorship. The generosity of people was overwhelming. I understand that people don’t have a lot of spare money at the moment but they gave what they could to support this cause. I think it was the fact that Luke is so young that people were extremely proud of him. I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who sponsored his efforts and to family and friends who took sponsorship cards to raise extra funds,” Helen said.
Winning the Fight
Conor’s mom, Melanie takes up the story: “Conor and Luke have been friends since they started school and spend most weekends hanging around together.
Earlier in the year Luke saw the Today FM campaign and because an uncle of his had cancer he decided he was going to shave his head. After speaking to Conor they decided they would both do it, Conor’s ‘Nana Ann’ in Cork has been fighting a battle with Melanoma for the last six years and is, thankfully, winning the fight.
“The boys registered themselves on line and got everything they needed and the sponsorship campaign started, Luke made his confirmation earlier this year so a date in May was decided on for the shave.
Though young in years, unfortunately are familiar with the word and meaning of cancer and felt they needed to do something to help in some way. They are two great boys.
As parents myself and Pat couldn’t be prouder of Conor. His brothers Sean and Fionn are seriously impressed he actually did it,” said Melanie.
As plans progressed, Helen was delegated by the boys to approach Muinteóir Tomás in the school suggesting that they have a non-uniform day to raise extra money. For the reception she got and the response to the idea she is very grateful to the staff and pupils of Gael Scoil Aogáin who supported it so generously.
It was decided that the head shave would be done in the sixth class room so that the pupils of fifth and sixth could witness the great occasion.
Helen would like to say a big thanks to Luke’s uncle Shane’s fiancée, Christina O’Connor who performed the task of shaving the boys. Christina works in the Crowning Glory Hair Salon in Castleisland and the boys were shorn in record time as the locks began to hit the classroom floor.
To add to the excitement Luke and Conor’s cousins, who were visiting from Washington DC, came to witness the shave along with all family members.
“Luke’s entire family are so very proud of him to do this for charity and at least he won’t be needing a haircut for quite a while. We don’t have a final total yet but they will exceed €700 as that’s the amount they have in already and there’s more to come.