THE nephew of a young man who died of cancer marked his uncle’s birthday by getting the chop.
Like any schoolboy, nine-year-old Freddie Clarke always makes sure his hair and clothes are perfect.
But, after losing his beloved uncle Andy Prowting (pictured below) to skin cancer in December, he decided he wanted to do something to make a difference.
Freddie, of Blendworth Crescent, Leigh Park, grew his hair long and had it all shaved off yesterday on what would have been ‘Uncle Candi’s’25th birthday.
He is Andy’s sister Sam’s son and his proud aunt Sarah Prowting, Andy’s other sister, said: ‘Freddie absolutely adored his uncle.
‘But he finds it very hard to talk about what’s happened. He wrote his mum a letter explaining what he wanted to do because he couldn’t bring himself to say it. Freddie usually has his hair cut every two weeks so it was very long for him.
‘He had it all shaved off and burst out crying at the end. He was really emotional.
‘We are all so proud of him. He raised £410 and he is absolutely chuffed to bits.
‘Andy’s best friend Richard Ward gave him a present and a card saying “nephew” on it which really touched him.’
Andy, a security guard, earned admiration for his fight against illness.
He was diagnosed with skin cancer in January last year and the disease spread to his bones and liver.
When doctors told him there was nothing more they could do his family and friends formed Andy’s Army to raise money to send him to America for what they hoped would be lifesaving treatment.
After dozens of fundraising events across the area around £45,000 was raised. Sadly, Andy died in December, before going for the treatment, and the money will now go to the Teenage Cancer Trust children and young adults cancer ward at Southampton General Hospital.
Sarah, 27, Sam, their mum Julie and Andy’s fiancée Sarah Barclay marked Andy’s birthday by releasing balloons on Portsdown Hill.
She said: ‘We talk about him all the time.
‘There isn’t a day that goes past when we don’t talk about him and talk about the memories we have of him.’
The head shave took place at Havant Ink, in West Street, Havant.
After Andy’s story was reported in The News people as far away as Mexico and New Zealand contributed to the fundraising.
There is still time to sponsor Freddie. Go to the Andy’s Army Facebook page, which links to the justgiving.com page.