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Man spends two years growing fantastic combover for charity

"You get people kind of looking at you."

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By Ed Cullinane via SWNS

A man whose friend died has spent two years growing a 'comb-over for cancer' - to raise money for charity in her honor.

Fred Murray has photographed himself every day as his combover grew - before creating a fantastic video documenting his progress.

Fred, from Dublin, Ireland, has already raised €12,600 ($14,300 USD) and hopes to hit his €25,000 ($28,400) target by next April.

He also aims to complete a comb-over style 'head to head' cycle from the northmost to southernmost heads of Ireland - around 540km (336 miles).

Fred, 45, a graphic designer, decided to 'one up' the popular 'Movember' charity efforts across the globe by growing what he said was the 'worst' hairstyle he could manage.

A nearly bald man, Fred finally reached the two-year mark on December 9th, 2021, and now has a 19.5 cm combover from the left side of his head - but he still aims to do more.

Fred said: "My inspiration was a friend of mine called Fiona Cribbon who was diagnosed with breast cancer probably ten years ago.

''She has surgery and a lot of chemo, and she managed to recover quite well.

"But then around 2015 or 2016 the cancer just spread everywhere.

''She was just written off, but she managed to battle on for a number of years.

"She celebrated her 39th birthday not knowing if she would make it to 40, but ultimately made it to 41 in the end when she lost her fight with her cancer.

"I was on holiday at the time in Greece, and I had a dream and was thinking about her the next day, so I decided that maybe I should try and do something.

"It was coming up to November and obviously with 'Movember' I was thinking about what I could do. The problem was Movember has been around for so long I felt I'd have been lucky to raise two hundred euros.

"I started thinking about what could really spark people's imagination - Movember is great of course but it's been around a long time now.

"Being a bald man, I can't really grow that much hair, so I thought a comb-over would be pretty bad - no relatively young man grows a comb-over."

The style itself was inspired by his family GP and English footballer Jack Charlton, along with Woody Harrelson's character in the 1997 movie 'King Pin.'

Fred's local barber, Abner Brown's Barber Shop in Dublin, even pays Fred to cut his hair which he then donates.

Aiming to raise €25,000, Fred set to work growing out his hair, even managing to show Fiona what he was doing before she passed away in late November 2019.

Fred added: "She was by then in palliative care, so really on her last legs.

"I decided that I'd try and raise twenty grand, and decided I could easily do that with a comb-over. So I went for it and started.

"Fiona passed away in the third week of November in 2019. Thankfully before she passed I was able to show her what I was doing and she got a good laugh out of it, and she got to tell me which charities she would like me to support."

Speaking about his experience with the hairstyle, Fred said he had got a lot of 'funny looks' but with lockdown had found it had been relatively easy to keep the style going.

He said: "Because of lockdown I never really left Dublin, so my background was always the same in my bathroom. I have it kind of set up to keep the pictures consistent.

"I lost my hair when I was about 24, and so I noticed when I started to grow it that my hair is super thin and brittle - it's very weak.

"It's winter so it's cold, so I tend to wear a hat anyway, but when I'm sitting down in a pub or indoors I tend to take it off for everyone to see.

"You get people kind of looking at you, but I've never had anyone ask me what's going on with my hair.

"I do get a good few looks in the pub, or girls sort of look at each other like 'oh my God,' some of my friends who are girls sometimes jokingly tell me to put my hat back on because they can't bear it."

"I did go on one date while I had the comb-over, but it was during lockdown so thankfully we met up for a walk outside so I didn't have to take off my hat."

Having now reached his milestone of two years, Fred decided to keep his style to keep up efforts to get to his €25,000 goal.

He's since decided to keep the style until springtime when he will aim to cycle from north to south Ireland in two days, covering around 540km, as a last push for funding.

Fred explained: "Having done it for two years now I've sort of reached my two-year milestone, I've decided to keep it going a little bit longer though. I'm going to keep it going until late spring.

"I want the days to be longer and the weather to be better so that I can do a final cycle from the very southern tip of Ireland to the most northern tip at Donegall. There's a cycling route you can do from one side of the head to another - like a combover".

All the funding for Fred's efforts will go to cancer research and care facilities, including Aoibheann's Pink Tie, Breast Predict and Our Lady's Hospice & Care - Harold's Cross Dublin.

You can support Fred's fundraising efforts by donating to his GoFundMe here.

For more information and photos, you can follow Fred's progress on his Instagram.

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