An Asfordby man who was diagnosed with cancer on his birthday has sparked a family fundraising effort which has raised hundreds of pounds for charity.
A doctor gave Andrew Ogleby the devastating news about his illness on the day he turned 36, in June last year.
The agricultural contractor had an operation and is now having chemotherapy at Leicester Royal Infirmary to help him fight the disease.
As his hair began to fall out, Andrew’s family and friends decided to have their heads shaved to support him.
They were sponsored to ‘brave the shave’ and so far more than £1,500 has been raised for the Bowel Cancer UK charity and Macmillan nurses, who have been a constant support.
Andrew’s sister, Sarah-Jane Riley, said: “It was horrific to hear the news that he had cancer.
“You just feel like your whole world has turned upside down.
“To hear those words about someone you love so much is shattering and heart breaking.
“It was also his birthday, a day that you celebrate with joy and love, but on that day we gathered at his bed in hospital to support him through the toughest journey ever.”
Nine family members and friends gathered last month at the Kirby Bellars home of Andrew’s parents, Richard and Carole, to have their heads shaved in a show of support.
Donations have been made in cash and money is still coming in through an online fundraising page.
“We didn’t want him to lose his thick, curly hair because it’s scary and horrible but when it started coming out we decided to have our hair cut too,” said Sarah-Jane.
“The Macmillan nurses have also been amazing in their support for Andrew so we wanted to give something back.
“To say we are overwhelmed by the money raised is an understatement.
“Peoples’ love and generosity has been phenomenal and we would like to thank all our family and friends and even strangers who don’t know us but have been here for us.”
Andrew has a partner, Cassandra, and a five-year-old daughter, Imogen Rose.
He has two brothers, Michael and David, as well as another sister, Katie. Andrew also has four nephews and six nieces.
Sarah-Jane added: “Andrew still has a very long way to go in his journey and is far from the end but we will always be there.
“As each day passes he fights on, though, and he never gives up.
“He’s the bravest person I know.”
Go online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-jane-riley to pledge money for the family fundraising effort.