Young Devlin gets his hair Karate chopped

A little boy who survived cancer and wanted to give his hair to help sick children, raised £1500 for two special charities close to his families heart.

Thursday, 29th September 2016, 8:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 3:39 pm
Devlin Whitfield-Martin, aged 5, with his flowing locks.

Devlin's Mum, Emily Whitfield, 29, of Sandringham Road, Town Moor, said that the idea came after their family were flown to Lapland by the wish granting organisation, When You Wish Upon a Star.

She said: "After recovering from being very ill as a baby, we got to go to Lapland when Devlin was three. He kept looking at all the other children, and asking me why they didn't have any hair.

Devlin in mid-haircut

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I had to explain to him that the medicine makes their hair fall out. He said he wanted to give them his hair, the idea was all his. The idea really stuck with him, and about 18 months ago he started growing it"

Devlin was diagnosed with a wilms tumour, a form of children's cancer which effects the kidneys.

He had his kidney removed when he was just nine months old and after a year of treatment at the Sheffield Children's Hospital he was given the all clear.

Emily said: "The tumour was the size of an adult fist, luckily it did not spread to his other one".

All smiles, Devlin after his haircut.

"We gave half of the money raised to the Children's Hospital, who were just brilliant with us. and the other half to the Wish Upon a Star people who do great work too."

His Dad, Zachary Martin, 38, said they have to be careful about keeping Devlin properly hydrated, but that he seems to function at full capacity most of the time.

He said: "It doesn't seem to have slowed him down at all. But, every time he has a check up you get a bit fidgety, hoping it's not come back and that his kidney is ok. When you first stop treatment, that's when it hits you. what you've been through as parents. The routine disappears and you're sort of just left hanging."

Karate kid, Devlin Whitfield-Martin, aged five, had his long locks chopped and donated to the The Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides real hair wigs for boys and girls who have lost their own through cancer treatment or alopecia.

Instructor, Tom Thorpe and Devlin, accepting the cheers from crowd at the Diamond Lounge.

The big ceremony took place at Endeavour Martial Art's black belt graduation at the Diamond Lounge on Wood Street.. There was a collection bucket, online donations as well as a raffle with prizes provided by parents, family & the owners of the Live Lounge

Emily said: "He was so nervous beforehand. He's been growing his hair so long, he can't even remember what a haircut feels like. I took me a long time to reassure him. He thought that maybe it was going to hurt.

In the end, he decided he was going to go up by himself. I'm so proud of him. The way he stuck to his decision, for so long, in someone so young, you know, I'm just so proud."

Devllin has recently won his purple and white belt in the 'Little Champions' four to seven year old age group. Director of Endeavour and mixed martial arts instructror, 24 year old Tom Thorpe, held Devlin aloft to the cheers of the crowd after his haircut.

Devlin, receiving treatment at Sheffield Children's hospital

He said "It was brilliant, everyone was cheering him on. He's always one of the most energetic and bubbly kids we've got."

Devlin in mid-haircut
All smiles, Devlin after his haircut.
Instructor, Tom Thorpe and Devlin, accepting the cheers from crowd at the Diamond Lounge.
Devlin, receiving treatment at Sheffield Children's hospital