CANCER sufferer James Baker had his head shaved in support of a charity that raises awareness about the illness he is battling.
James, 24, of Moresby Street in Westlea, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in March, the day before his birthday.
It has since spread to his chest, lungs and stomach and although he has been given a 90 per cent chance of survival by doctors he still has to face chemotherapy.
“I haven’t really changed physically and 90 per cent is the best chances you can hope for when you are diagnosed,” he said.
“I just want to get on with the chemotherapy now. You still get worried despite the chances you are given and you just wanted it treated as soon as possible.”
He first noticed a lump on his testicle last November but he ignored it, despite the memory of losing his dad to cancer at 13.
A lump under each of his nipples were the final warning sign and James visited Great Western Hospital for tests before being given the results with mum Valerie, 54, on March 11.
“Before I went in I just had a feeling. I knew what it was before I was even told,” said James. “I didn’t cry at all. My mum and the nurse were in bits, but I was okay until I phoned my brother.
“I came out of the diagnosis and as I was telling him I just broke down. I had to hang up the phone.”
He will begin nine weeks of chemotherapy next week. He will face 15 days of treatment across the nine weeks, which will batter his immune system and would have left him with no hair, had he not shaved it already.
James’ brother Phil, 26, a refrigeration and air conditioning engineer, is moving out of the house he owns in Shaw and rent it out so he can move in and look after James.
At the Woodlands Edge pub in Midwinter Close last week, he had his hair cut off in aid of charity. When the final penny is deposited, he will have raised £3,500 for male cancer charity Everyman.
Much of the money has come from friends, who have been behind him since the day he returned from hospital.
“I got diagnosed at noon and there were 40 people at my house by 1pm. I had only texted five or six people, so they must have got talking,” said James.
“We raised £3,500 in one week for the headshave, but £700 of that was raised at the pub itself on the nigh. There were so many people there.”