A teenager has agreed to sacrifice her long locks to raise cash and awareness in memory of her boyfriend’s brother.
Sonya Cordes, 19, of Hillside Road, Leighton Buzzard is hoping to raise as much as a grand for Malaria No More in memory of Harry Yirrell.
While Harry was volunteering as an aid worker in Africa in 2005 he stopped taking his anti-malaria tablets and gave them out to the children there instead.
But nine days after coming home, Harry started to feel unwell and just a few days later the 20-year-old died from falciparum malaria.
Sonya said: “I didn’t know him personally, but I am always talking to my boyfriend about him and asking why he went to volunteer; he wanted to do good things, that was in his nature.
“The more I heard about Harry’s story, that he gave away his drugs to help others, but his life was taken away, the more I felt inspired to do something. I thought this is my chance to help and raise as much money as I can because if I hadn’t known the family I would never have known the dangers of malaria.”
Sonya, whose mum is a hairdresser, will have her head shaved to 0.5mm at Huckleberry’s on November 16.
Sonya added: “She is scared for me but thinks it is a really good thing that I’m doing.”
> Harry’s mum, Jo, was turned into a character in Richard Curtis’ film, Mary and Martha, starring Brenda Blethyn and Hilary Swank back in March. Curtis said: “Jo Yirrell’s story was a direct inspiration for my film – not only her story, but also her amazing reaction to what happened to her and her son Harry, the way she chose to use her experience and her grief to try to save the lives of other children.
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