Kesgrave teenager braves shave in memory of his baby brother – live on stage
PUBLISHED: 07:11 29 July 2018 | UPDATED: 07:11 29 July 2018
A Kesgrave teenager has had his long locks shaved in memory of his baby brother who died from a rare genetic disorder just 17 hours after being born.
Louis Markham, 15, was just nine years old when his brother Elliot passed away having been diagnosed with Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards Syndrome, following a 20-week pregnancy scan.
Louis and his parents Charlotte and Melvyn, of Terry Gardens, were supported through the tragedy by East Anglian Children’s Hospices (EACH) which allowed them to use the facility at The Treehouse to spend time with Elliot after he had passed away.
The hospice also supported the family in the years after Elliot’s death, providing counselling, bereavement groups and support and therapy sessions.
Louis was determined to do something to raise money for the charity that supported his family so, after receiving a few jokes saying he needed a trim, decided to undergo a sponsored head shave.
Recently Louis got on stage at DanceEast to have his long locks shaved having just performed in Musicality 2018, a show from the Emma Dodd School of Performing Arts.
Louis, a student at Kesgrave High School, said: “I hadn’t had it cut for well over a year.
“There had been a few jokes saying I needed a haircut so I thought I would go all the way and try to help out the hospice.
“I had my head shaved after the show in front of a big audience. It was a bit nerve wracking.
“We had made a target for £600 and when we hit that we were hoping for £1,000. It now stands at over £2,000 – it’s a bit unreal.”
Louis donated his hair to the Little Princess Trust, a charity which creates real hair wigs for children who have lost theirs through cancer.
Mrs Markham said: “EACH have just been fantastic.
“When I was pregnant and Elliot was diagnosed there wasn’t much support for us out there.
“We were looking at options at what to do as we wanted to continue the pregnancy. “Elliot was born in the hospital and we took him home where he passed away. We spent days with him at the hospice after that. Without that we wouldn’t be where we are now. For all of us their support was just fantastic.”
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