A teenager with an incurable illness has had his head shaved with two friends to raise hundreds of pounds for a charity which supports fellow sufferers.
MV16 pupil Andrew Bennett (16) was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in early 2013.
He has taken medication to keep himself in remission but the only long term solution would be to remove his large intestine.
Andrew is resisting this major operation at present because it would mean giving up his dream of becoming a professional boxer, but it is likely he will have to have it eventually.
His close friends, Alex Baker of Melton, and Asfordby villager Sam Pit Miller, wanted to do something to support their pal and boost him in his plight so came up with the idea of a sponsored head shave.
All proceeds will go to Crohn’s and Colitis UK, which is leading the battle against Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease.
After the trio had their hair shorn by his mum, Victoria Conyers, Alex, said: “It is a bit weird when we look in the mirror now.
“Our other friends were pretty shocked when they saw us the next day.
“We decided to do it because we just thought there was nothing we could do to help Andrew, so we thought what we could do was raise some money for his cause.”
The three friends, who attended Brownlow Primary School and John Ferneley College in Melton, have now dubbed themselves ‘the three bald amigos’.
Alex, who has known Andrew since they were seven, said: “He has never complained about his illness.
“We are aware of it now and then although you wouldn’t often know he has it.
“Sometimes he has to take time off college when it flares up again.
“He has been told about the surgery he would have to have but he wouldn’t be able to carry on with his boxing.”
Andrew continues to suffer and occasionally becomes ill for weeks at a time, with the main cause being stress.
He combats this through his obsession with keeping fit but his frustration grows when his illness leaves him too weak to lift the weights he would normally do.
The friends have already raised more than £400.
Go online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/threebaldamigos to make a contribution.