Lewis Trevithick is getting ready to shave off his beard in a bid to boost funds for the MS Society.
Lewis, a retired manager, will face the chop at the MS Society Portadown and Craigavon Branch Spring Tea on Saturday, April 18, in the Seagoe Hotel.
Inspired by his wife, Jane, and son, Ian, who have both been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Lewis will shave off his trademark beard - which he began growing in the 1970s.
He is hoping to raise £1,000 to support families affected by MS in the Portadown and Craigavon area.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system, and Northern Ireland holds one of the highest rates worldwide for people living with MS; the number here currently sits at 4,500.
Anticipating his big shave, Lewis said: “My wife, Jane, was diagnosed with MS six years ago and, although she manages okay around the house with the aid of a stick, her mobility has really decreased. She experiences lots of common MS symptoms, including poor dexterity, fatigue and spasms. As a result, she needs a lot of support.
“My son, Ian, was also diagnosed with MS 10 years ago. Unfortunately he had to take medical retirement from a very successful career as a press photographer, and MS has really changed his life.
“He needs support to stand now and finds it difficult to do some day-to-day tasks, but I really admire his determination to live life to the full.
“Following the diagnoses of my wife and son, we all got involved with the local MS Society branch as volunteers.
“The branch provides support, information and services - including exercise classes, yoga and social outings for local people affected by MS. I’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact that MS can have and that’s why I want to help the branch raise much needed funds to support families like mine, who live with the effects of MS every day.”
Lewis says his family were initially quite sceptical about his fundraiser, but are now looking forward to his new look:
“I’ve had a beard for 40 years, so my daughter has never seen me clean shaven!”
To sponsor Lewis, visit www.justgiving.com/Lewis-Trevithick
Lewis’ charity shave will take place at 4:30pm. Tickets are priced £7.50 for people with MS and their carers, and include a delicious three course meal. Prices are subsidised by the MS Society for people affected by MS. All welcome. To book, contact Lewis at the MS Society on 07752342621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org