October 2 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Rod Glen had one word to say when asked what he thought of his new look after his beard was shaved off: “Chilly.”
The 54-year-old had been persuaded to part with his beloved facial hair by his Anglian Water colleague Holly Finn, who challenged him to have a close shave provided more than £1,000 was raised for Cancer Research UK.
“Once I’d made the commitment, I had to go through with it,” he said. So last week, with the fundraising target met, the assistant scientist went under the clippers, in the expert hands of barber Jimmy Mosca, from St Neots, in front of staff at the water company’s Hinchingbrooke Business Park laboratory.
Mr Glen, who is married to Alex and has twin boys, aged 17, has had a full face of hair since he was a teenager. “I grew it when I was at school. There was just myself and two teachers with beards,” he said. “I’ve always been a bit of an individualist and wanted to go my own way.”
The beard has been in place ever since, apart from about eight months 14 years ago after Mr Glen, who lives in Benwick, near Ramsey, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
“I was going through chemo and all my hair fell out. I was given a 50 per cent chance of survival.
“The twins were three at the time and it came as a bit of a shock.
“I went through six months of chemo and it took another one to two months for the beard to grow back.”
Mr Glen, who was given the all-clear in 2005, said he wanted to raise funds for a charity which meant something to him and as many other people as possible.
He added: “Over the last few years we have had colleagues who have been treated and are still with us, but also a couple who have died.
“We thought this is an issue that impacts on an awful lot of people.”
Asked if he will be growing a replacement beard, he said: “Definitely. My wife has spoken and that’s the entire world out-voted.
“I’ve had a beard ever since I have known her so she is used to it. She said it’s like kissing a piece of sand paper now and she didn’t like it.”
Miss Finn, who said the beard shave was hilarious, added: “I’m really pleased with the amount raised and donations are still coming through. We are up to £1,200 and that’s without Gift Aid, so it’s more like £1,500.”
INFORMATION: There is still time to make a donation. Visit www.justgiving.com/Holly-Finn.