Macmillan Cancer Support: Denny High pupils shave off hair after one of their dads was diagnosed with inoperable cancer

A teenage son’s wish to support his dad through his cancer treatment has helped raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Sam Bolton wanted to do something after his dad Derek was given the devastating news that he had inoperable cancer just days before the end of 2023.

The 17-year-old Denny High School pupil came up with the plan for a fundraising head shave and three of his best friends were quick to say they would join him.

This afternoon in front of pupils, staff and relatives at the school the boys said goodbye to their hair knowing they had already raised almost £5000 for Macmillan Cancer Support – with the tally growing all the time.

Supporting Sam in his head shave were fellow 17-year-olds Sam McWatt, Lewis Bateman and Don Findlay, while brandishing the clipper’s were parents Derek Bolton, Jackie McWatt and Susan Bateman, along with hairdresser Carla Morrison.

Sam Bolton’s mum Doreen, 50, said she was proud of all the boys and thanked everyone, especially all those at Denny High School who had helped organise and support the fundraiser.

She explained how their family’s world had been shattered when Derek, 48, a manager with Argon Engineering, had been given his diagnosis.

"The GP thought his symptoms were a chest infection and he had three lots of antibiotics, then in October he was sent for an x-ray which was followed up by a CT scan and bronchoscopy at the end of November.

"On December 15 we were told it was lung cancer and then on December 28 came the news it was inoperable.

"He’s started on chemotherapy and immunotherapy – that’s when Sam came to me saying he wanted to do something to support his dad and suggested the head shave.”

She added that he wanted to fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support as they have been with the family every step of the way since Derek’s diagnosis and also helped when her mother was ill in 2022.

Her son and Don have been friends since primary school, while Lewis and Sam since starting at Denny High. Sam and Lewis also play for Gairdoch football team.

She said Sam wants to be an accountant and has a place to study at Heriot Watt but is also considering a graduate apprenticeship.

The family are looking forward to a busy year with Sam’s 18th birthday in a few weeks, daughter Amy, who is studying at Dundee University, celebrating her 21st and Doreen and Derek’s silver wedding anniversary in May.