A QUIN cancer patient has decided to have a cut at raising money for the Clare Crusaders’ Clinic following his recent recovery.
John Colleran, a 52-year-old father-of-two has opted for a few “wacky” hair and beard cuts until he has nothing left to take off.
His initiative has paid off with donations totalling €3,850 for the charity up to Wednesday.
In an interview with The Clare Champion, John admitted he was very lucky his doctor detected a problem very early and he had an operation to remove the tumour within five weeks of a colonoscopy.
“I was so lucky it was caught early. When I went to Dr Dermot Boyle I had an upset stomach. After a few weeks, he wasn’t happy and ordered a colonoscopy.
“It was a shock for me and my wife, Tracy when I was told I had cancer. It wasn’t something we expected, as I thought I had a problem with my gall bladder.
“Professor Joyce in the Galway Clinic eased my mind when he said the cancer was treatable and curable.
“I was lucky I had health insurance because Professor Joyce stated six months later the tumour would have broken out from my bowel into my abdominal cavity.
“The cancer had just changed to a T3, when they operated on me, which meant I had to have chemotherapy. Since then I have been given the all clear. I had my last surgery last February and I have been recovering well.
In addition to raising money for charity, he believes it is important to raise public awareness to encourage men to have regular health check ups.
John, who previously worked in restoration carpentry until a recent break, got his Mullet hair cut in Brownies Barber Shop, Upper Market Street, Ennis following a social media poll.
Married to Tracy, the couple have two children Jack (21) and Grace (19).
In October 2019, John was diagnosed with colon cancer. In addition to having a few operations including the removal of a tumour, he experienced six months of chemotherapy treatment.
When he started chemotherapy treatment in February 2020, John assumed he would lose all his hair and was prepared to shave it all off.
However, he was informed by medics he would only lose a small portion so he decided to keep growing it.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I had a beard and long hair. I haven’t cut my hair since February 2020. When my chemotherapy finished last July, my hair was still growing.
“I came up with the idea of doing a wacky hair and beard style each week. The idea is you donate to vote for a particular style. Last weekend, we put a poll and gave people the option of a mullet hair cut or a goatee beard cut. Everyone came back with the Mullet hair cut.”
John chose the Clare Crusaders’ Clinic because he wanted to donate money to a local charity that does great work for children with additional needs. Having coached rugby to children for years, he also wanted to support a charity that helped children.
“Clare Crusaders provide a great service for children in Clare. They are fully self-funded through fundraising and donations.
He created a Gofundme page with the help of his daughter, Grace, which was posted through social media.
“We have got a massive response over the last week. I am delighted with all the donations.”
Clinic managing director, Ann Norton, said it is very difficult to fundraise during the pandemic and noted they are relying on donations.
Councillor Norton said she was very impressed with John, who was more interested in raising money for the charity, instead of being preoccupied with his recent cancer diagnosis.
“He spoke very highly of the girls he trains in Ennis Rugby Club. It is such a positive story and I was humbled when I got the phone call from John saying he wanted to work with the clinic.
“You have to admire someone like that. I laugh when John sends me pics of his hair. He wants to see the fun element of the situation where a hairy man is getting his hair cut for children.
“It is an honour to be supported by people in the knowledge children will get a good service.”
Check out john.colleran on Instagram for more information and if you wish to donate, see https://gofund.me/0d2fed9b
by Dan Danaher