Stevenage teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer has head shaved to raise awareness

PUBLISHED: 08:30 16 October 2018

North Hertfordshire College tutor Barry Titmuss has his head shaved by student Kieran. CREDIT Jordan Cooper.

North Hertfordshire College tutor Barry Titmuss has his head shaved by student Kieran. CREDIT Jordan Cooper.

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A college engineering teacher who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer has had his head shaved to raise awareness of the disease, as well as money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Barry Titmuss is determined to raise awareness of prostate cancer, as well as funds for Macmillan. CREDIT Jordan Cooper.Barry Titmuss is determined to raise awareness of prostate cancer, as well as funds for Macmillan. CREDIT Jordan Cooper.

Barry Titmuss, who is an electrical installation tutor at North Hertfordshire College, was told he has prostate cancer in April after taking a fall in his bathroom.

Since then the cancer cells have spread to his bones, which means it is now incurable but can be controlled.

Last Wednesday, the 70-year-old had his head shaved at the college’s Stevenage campus, cheered on by staff and students.

Barry will now begin trialling a new chemotherapy treatment every three weeks for six cycles, followed by monthly injections and steroid tablets which lower testosterone levels that feed cancer cells.

He said: “I decided to brave the shave to raise awareness to students at North Hertfordshire College because, even though a lot of them are 18 and 19 year olds, it’s important to talk about men’s health.

“It’s a good opportunity to raise awareness of prostate cancer and the importance of leading a healthy, active lifestyle.”

The tutor has reduced his hours working at the college, but has no plans to retire anytime soon and will continue to teach his apprentices.

After the shave, Barry said: “I was only expecting my apprentices and a handful of staff but the turnout was fantastic.”

Harry Full-Rook, one of Barry’s electrical apprentices, said: “It’s good to see Barry taking it positively. It’s something that’s affected most people and it’s good to see people getting together to support him.”

Barbering lecturer Rachel Currell, who shaved Barry’s head with the help of her student Kieran, said: “Barry sent me an email asking whether I could come over and shave his head but didn’t quite explain why, until a few days before to say he’s having some chemotherapy and wanted to shave his head before the next round.

“I took Kieran along to raise awareness amongst my students, especially prostate cancer which is not often diagnosed early enough.”

Donations can still be made in support of Barry’s Brave the Shave via bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/barry-titmus

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