A BRAVE woman who has had long locks her whole life will sacrifice them to help a spirited two-year-old boy live a full and independent life.
Naomi Elcock will shave off her near-60cm-long hair to raise money for Ronnie Shore, who developed cerebral palsy due to being born prematurely at 28 weeks.
Ronnie’s condition means he needs specialist therapy to help train his body to do what comes naturally to most toddlers – roll, sit, crawl, walk, speak and swallow – so is fully reliant on parents Rebecca and Joe.
But time is of the essence, as the ‘fight for Ronnie’s brain’ will become less effective the older he gets – so with help from charity Just4Children, Rebecca and Joe launched the Remarkable Ronnnie appeal to raise £20,000 for intensive therapy which is not available on the NHS.
Police officer Joe rounded up a group of around 20 male colleagues – #RemarkableRecruits – from Rugby Police Station who raised £3,000 by shaving their heads.
But friend and colleague Naomi wants to add another £2,000 to the total by herself braving the shave.
She said: “I have had long hair all my life, but for this amazing cause I am willing to join the Warwickshire Police Force’s #RemarkableRecruits and shave my head.
“My hair is currently 57cm long, it will all go when I reach £2,000. I will also be donating my hair to The Little Princess Trust, who make beautiful real hair wigs, free of charge, for children who need them.
“Ronnie is a beautiful smiley little boy. I would absolutely love to raise as much money as possible for Just4Children who care and support Ronnie to push the boundaries and reach his full potential.
“Please support me in raising much needed funds, to help Ronnie access more intensive therapies. This money will provide the tailored life-changing support he needs while he is still young and brain is still developing.”
Joe said: “It feels incredible that so many people want to help Ronnie. The Police is one big family and we’ve been overwhelmed at the support we’ve received.”
He told The Observer that Ronnie’s bright personality was helping him and Rebecca to stay positive.
He said: “He is an absolute sweetheart! Despite his challenges, he is a happy little boy. He has a cheeky side and loves cuddles and tickles.
“Ronnie brightens up everyone’s day with his cheeky grin. People see how hard he tries and are influenced by how brave he is.
“He has been determined since day one, and works so hard during his physio and therapy despite how exhausting it is for him.
“Seeing him develop in recent months is awe-inspiring for us and we couldn’t be prouder.”
He said Ronnie needed treatment as soon as possible because his body’s potential will give up on him the older he gets.
“That’s why it is so important for us to strike now and get Ronnie the treatment he needs and deserves to live a full life, one of happiness and independence.
“It’s a fight for Ronnie’s brain. Our remarkable boy is improving and he has so much potential – its just a case of unlocking it.
“Our son is the most amazing little soul! The sky is the limit for our fighter, and helping Remarkable Ronnie to reach his potential would be the most immense gift we could ever give him.”