Grieving Marchmont teens to shave heads in aid of Macmillan Cancer to honour mum and gran

When grieving teenagers Fraser and Blair Purves decided to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer nurses to thank them for the care they gave their mother Fay in her final days the boys came up with a modest target of £500.

By Shona Elliott
Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 6:28 pm
Fraser and Blair Purves and their guidance teacher.
Fraser and Blair Purves and their guidance teacher.

Now after word spread round their school and social media, the Marchmont pair’s modest sponsored head shave today is set to raise at least ten times that amount.

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And one of their teachers has been so touched by their fortitude that he has pledged to shear his hair too in an act of solidarity.

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Fraser and Blair Purves and their guidance teacher.

Guidance teacher Bryan McPhail, said he was moved by the way Fraser, 15 and Blair, 13 had coped with their grief after losing their mum to a particularly aggressive form of bowel cancer last April just weeks after she was diagnosed.

Mr McPhail, who is a teacher at James Gillsepie’s High School has worked closely with the boys since they lost their mum and says he was moved by the way they were handling their grief with “grace and positivity”.

He said: “Obviously the grief comes in waves but they are open, kind and compassionate kids and they want to ensure that Macmillan get the recognition they deserve.”

“The fact that they have turned this event into a celebration of their mother’s life is a tribute to the boys, they are an inspiration to us all.”

The boys with their mum, Fay.

The whole school are behind Fraser and Blair and will support them by donating money and watching the trio cut off their locks during lunchtime on Thursday.

Fraser said that he wanted to raise money for the charity because they “helped me come to terms with what was happening to my mum”.

He said: “When I went through it with mum it was just so horrible and difficult to try and deal with.

“But Macmillan really helped mum cope and being able to see her happy and smiley made it easier to accept what was happening, it’s not as scary when the person going through it is okay.

He added: “I know I would do anything if I could have just one extra day with my mum, so hopefully by raising money I will be able to give someone else the chance we didn’t get and give them that extra day.” Younger brother Blair, who is currently in S2, said the family first heard about the challenge while listening to the radio in the car during the summer holidays.

He said: “We heard about the shave on the car radio during summer, I was really enthusiastic about the idea and signed up as soon as we got home.

“I told my teacher Mr McPhail about it and he said the school could help us publicise the event and he said he would do it too, so the three of us are going to do the challenge together.”

Father Brian Purves is brimming with pride and said: “I could not be prouder of my two wonderful boys. They have had so much to cope with in their young lives yet continue to selflessly focus on helping others.”