A MUSSELBURGH teenager has thanked a charity which supported his family when his mum was seriously ill by shaving off his hair.

Luke Powell, 15, of Riverside Gardens, a pupil at Musselburgh Grammar School, went to his regular barbers Eskquire on Eskside West to shed his crowning glory.

His efforts have raised about £600 for The Brain Tumour Charity, which is at the forefront of the fight to defeat brain cancer and helps the lives of people with a brain tumour, and their families.

Luke said: “I was a bit nervous to start with – it is a bit different.”

His mum Susan, 49, who previously worked with Standard Life, has battled two brain tumours over the past 18 years, undergoing surgery at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital, along with radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.

A small benign tumour behind her ear has also been diagnosed.

She is full of pride at her son’s decision to help the charity with whom the family have a close relationship.

“It think it’s great – I am so proud of him,” she said.

So far the family as a whole have raised about £10,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity, as Luke’s 18-year-old sister Madelaine, who is currently at Camp America, did a skydive at Fife Airport.

Dad Steve, 53, took on the challenge of a year-long walk, completing 1,200 miles, adding walks with the family dogs to the grand total.

They held other charity initiatives, fun quizzes and raffles with prizes kindly donated by local businesses.

A collection tin is also in Open All Hours at Eskview Terrace for public donations.

“People are just so generous,” said Susan, who was diagnosed with her first brain tumour when Madelaine was five months old in 2001.

She explained: “In 2002 I had a craniotomy to remove it and they got most of it.

“Then at the end of 2009, I had a scan and there was regrowth so I had radiotherapy for six weeks and that was when I lost my hair.

“In 2016 they found regrowth as well so I had my awake craniotomy, so you are awake for part of the operation.

“There was a speech and language therapist sitting beside me asking me to describe all the things on the cards because my tumour was quite near the speech bit.

“I had a follow-up scan in September/October that year and they sent me a date for a scan in the January. They found another tumour, so I got chemotherapy for that.”

Then a vestibular schwannoma, a non-cancerous and usually slow-growing tumour, was found behind Susan’s ear which is the size of lentil but is not affecting her.

Further scans have been stable, as Susan said: “I am feeling OK and I am back driving again. I now have epilepsy but it is well controlled.”

She also paid tribute to the Maggie’s Centre at the Western General for its support.

Dad-of-two Alan Mulholland, who moved to Prestonpans 25 years ago and now owns Eskquire in both Musselburgh and Prestonpans, shaved Luke’s head.

He said: “When Luke’s dad approached me and asked if this would be possible, I was really happy to get the team at Eskquire involved because I believe it’s important to stick together in a community, given my back ground being raised on the Isle of Lewis where community spirit is strong.

“Just recently, one of our regular customers has been diagnosed with a brain tumour so we felt very honoured to be able to give something in any way we possibly could.

“Luke shaving his head and raising the funds he has, and just raising awareness of this illness, is a fantastic thing for a young lad to do and being asked to be a part of that was very humbling.”

Further information on The Brian Tumour Charity is available at thebraintumourcharity.org