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Head shave is in memory of dad

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

By Abbey Buxton

  • 31-12-2013 The Dyers Arms, Leek, Staffs Lets Let's Party. Amber Keates charity fundraiser 19-year-old Amber lost her dad Steve to cancer earlier this year. She has raised £700 for Cancer Research by doing a head shave on NYE. She is also donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust, which provides wigs for young girls undergoing chemo. Left to right, Matt Hardy, Julie Keates and Mark Hardy

  • Joe Malkin, Billy Stafford, Nichola Beardmore, Amber Keates and Julie Keates.

  • Amber with Victoria Plant, who cut of the main length of hair to be donated.

  • Amber with partner Billy Stafford, who did the final shave.

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A TEENAGER has shaved her hair off for charity in memory of her father who died of cancer.

Amber Keates held the fund-raiser at The Dyers Arms pub in Macclesfield Road, Leek, on New Year's Eve, supported by her family and friends.

The 19-year-old wanted to do something to raise money for charity after losing her dad Steven Keates to lung cancer in February last year.

She decided to take the step of shaving off her hair to show her support for cancer patients who go through the ordeal during chemotherapy treatment.

Amber's aunt Victoria Plant, aged 24, from Westminster Road, Leek, had the honour of cutting off her niece's ponytail ahead of the shave, while her boyfriend Billy Stafford, aged 21, who lives with Amber at The Green, Kingsley, manned the clippers for the final shave. Amber is donating her hair to the Little Princess Charity, which makes wigs for children with cancer who lose their hair through chemotherapy, and she is giving the £1,800 donations she has collected so far to Cancer Research UK.

She said: "I decided to have all my hair shaved off to raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of my loving dad Steven Keates, who passed away on February 22, 2013, from this cruel disease.

"I want to raise as much money as possible for this charity, so that other families don't have to suffer the same heartache as my family has from losing such a precious loved one.

"I decided to raise money by shaving all my hair off to show people who are lucky enough to be able to receive treatment, which unfortunately causes hair loss, that having no hair is nothing to feel degraded or ashamed of. It shows how lucky you are to be able to undergo treatment unlike my dad who was too ill.

"Anyone who wishes to support me can do so by signing one of the sponsor forms which are going around my friends and family, and there is also a link on my Facebook page to donate through the Just Giving website."

Paul Richardson, landlord of The Dyers Arms , knew Steven for more than 20 years before his death.

He has introduced the Steven Keates Memorial Trophy in his honour, which is awarded to the winner of the pub's annual Premier Darts League Knock-Out Cup Final.

He said: "The last time I saw Steve was last Christmas; we only found out he was unwell just after that, so it was shock when he passed away soon after.

"We were absolutely gutted, Steve was my dad's second cousin so I'd known him pretty much most of my life.

"He came in the pub a lot and played darts. He was very much liked by everyone who knew him.

"He was a quality bloke. The family held the wake here after his funeral and his brothers Rob and Julian still come here often.

Both parents drank in here and used to come in every Friday with Steve and his wife Julie.

"He was a brilliant bloke, he'd do anything for anyone; once he turned up at 5.30am before he went to work to help fit wallpaper in the pub. It's a big loss. When Amber asked if we could host the event I agreed straight away.

"It's fantastic what she's done, especially because of how much she loved her hair. It was a big thing for her to do and to raise so much money is amazing."

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