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Super-hairo donates hair and supports two charities

AN Oakfield Academy student who cut his long hair off to donate to the Little Princess Trust has also managed to raise an impressive £1,110 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association!

Jago Francis braved the chop and said goodbye to 16 inches of hair this summer to donate to the Little Princess Trust who brighten the lives of children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer, or those who have conditions that causes their hair to fall out, such as alopecia. At the same time, Jago also raised £1,110 for MND Association following his father’s battle with the disease.

Jago’s mother, Laura, says that he was inspired to donate his long locks to the Little Princess Trust after he saw another youngster, Jacob Smith, do the same in a previous edition of the Frome Times earlier in March of this year.

“This was actually prompted as we saw the story about the boy who donated his hair from his first ever hair cut to the Little Princess Trust and Jago has been talking about getting his hair cut for ages but he just didn’t feel comfortable with it,” said Laura.

“It’s always been quite a challenge to convince him to get a trim, let alone a full-on haircut, but what I said to him this time was that he doesn’t just have to get a haircut – he could do something really positive at the same time and donate it to the charity so they can bring happiness to someone else, and I think once he realised what it would mean to someone else it was a no-brainer.

“We then saw the story about the boy who had his hair cut for the charity previously and how he had also raised some money on the side as well, and so Jago wanted to raise money for the MND Association following his dad’s battle with the disease.”

Jago’s father Alex Francis died last year following a three-year battle with motor neurone disease and following this, his family pledged to raise over £1million for the MND Association for research. His family has so far raised just over half of that. Alex’s story features on the direct mail campaign for the MND Association and his family have been told that it is the charity’s most successful campaign.

Jago got an impromptu haircut when on holiday in France this summer and his mum live-streamed the whole thing for people to watch back home.

Laura added, “I quickly set up a Facebook fundraiser when Jago decided that it was time when we were out in France and I was blown away by how many generous people responded to it! The story seemed to really capture the hearts of people – we initially set up a target of £150 and we reached £300 within a couple of hours and it snowballed from there.

“Thank you to everyone who donated. Jago’s dad was well known in the community and I think a lot of people know how hard a time Jago has had recently. Jago says he loves his new haircut and I’m so proud of him for going through with it.”

The south west regional fundraiser for MND Association, Helen Mackie, said, “Jago has been so amazing braving the shave and chopping off his mop! It must have also taken extra courage to lose the long locks while in France on holiday. We are so grateful that Jago, with help from so many generous family, friends and supporters, has raised so much.

“I cannot thank Jago enough for everything he has done to help other families affected by motor neurone disease with his fundraising. Without the amazing support of brave people like Jago, the MND Association simply would not be able to provide its vital support services, fund research to find a cure and campaign and raise awareness of the disease. Together we are making a real difference for people affected by this devastating disease.”

Motor neurone disease is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord that affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. It has no cure.

The MND Association focuses on improving access to care, research and campaigning for those people living with or affected by MND. For more information including how to donate to the MND Association visit: www.mndassociation.org

A JustGiving page has been set up which can be viewed by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/page/jago-mop-chop