11 year-old Bobby Wagon from Chorlton cut his hair to raise over £3,000 for a charity which supports his younger brother with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.
Shelley and Paddy Wagon’s youngest son, Uzi, was born with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). This is a rare genetic condition which results in benign tumours developing in various parts of the body. For Uzi, TSC has also caused epilepsy and autism, both of which present their own challenges for the family. When Uzi was born, Shelley and Paddy were prepared for the fact that he might never speak, walk or even be able to support himself sitting. But recent medical advances mean that children like Uzi can lead happy, normal lives. Now four years old, the fact he is able to race around singing his way through shabbat zemirot is a ray of sunshine for all the family.
The Wagon’s second son, Bobby, joined his elder brother, Laudae, at Manchester King David Yavneh Boys in September this year. Both the boys love the school, however, Bobby was less than overjoyed when the head teacher told him he would have to have his hair cut. Blessed with his mother’s thick corkscrew curls he has proudly been growing his whole life, the thought of short hair did not appeal to Bobby. In an act of tzedakah, Bobby turned his thoughts to his baby brother and decided to use his haircut to raise funds for the TSA.
The Tuberous Sclerosis Association (TSA) is a charity which offers ongoing support to families like the Wagons. Founded in 1977 with just £25, the aim is to offer support and advice to sufferers and their families, fund ongoing research and raise awareness. With his mother’s help Bobby created a JustGiving page and set himself an ambitious target of £200. In the first 24 hours, he had smashed his target and reached £1,000. Before the week was out, he had doubled that to reach £2,000. Twitter exploded with family members, representatives from TSA, Yavneh and even Bobby’s primary school wanting to celebrate his achievement. His online total currently stands at £2,616, with offline donations taking the sum up to over £3,000. Bobby has been listed in the top 3% of JustGiving’s September fundraisers – not bad for a haircut.
Shelley and Paddy said: “We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and we are immensely proud of what Bobby has achieved.” Bobby’s grandparents, Judy and Jon Gordon said: “We have seven grandchildren and we take pleasure in each and every one of their achievements. Bobby’s kindness is something which beings a different nachas. We are in awe of his ability to turn something which many children his age would moan about, into such a positive. We couldn’t be more proud.”
If you have been inspired by Bobby’s story and would like to support the TSA, visit his page at Justgiving.com/fundraising/shelley-wagon.