Charity Champion

Braving the Shave

Birmingham Children’s Hospital has thousands of supporters and fundraisers who repeatedly go out of their way to make a real difference to the children and young people in Birmingham and beyond. Each week we will be telling the story of one of the hospital’s dedicated Charity Champions to highlight the difference that they are making.

Charity Champion Profile

Name: Carl Gannon
Occupation: Cleaner at Sidoli Bakery
Hometown: Welshpool
Brief Description: Carl, who was a patient at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 1996, organised a beard and head shave to raise £2,086 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

A grateful ex-patient who received life-saving heart surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital has picked up this week’s Charity Champion title, after braving the shave and raising over £2,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Having grown his lengthy locks for six months, Carl Gannon, from Welshpool, decided to shave his beloved beard and hair to say thank you for the exceptional care he received at the children’s hospital in 1996.

Diagnosed at birth with a hole in his heart, Carl had two open heart surgeries in the space of two days to revert his condition. 

Now a fit and healthy 27-year-old, Carl was inspired to make his ‘bald’ bid in aid of the hospital’s Heart Unit (Wards 11 and 12), where he stayed as an inpatient for ten days.

Setting out with a fundraising target of £200, Carl was over-the-moon to see his total soar to an incredible £2,086. He said: “The shave was a huge success and the support and sponsorship I received from everyone was fantastic – I’m still so surprised at how much was raised altogether!

“Birmingham Children’s Hospital means the world to me and I really wanted to give something back for everything the staff did for me and my family over twenty years ago. Hopefully the money I’ve raised will help make the children’s lives at the hospital that little bit easier.”

Annie Eytle, Acting Events and Regional Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, added: “It’s always so inspirational to hear how the world-class care our hospital provides inspires patients to fundraise and we’d like to say a huge thank you to Carl for showing his commitment to us all these years on. 

“The money he’s donated will make a massive difference to our brave young patients and their families cared for on our Heart Unit, which is one of the busiest centres for treating heart disease in the UK.”