A selfless Scots schoolboy defied bullies for three years to grow his hair long and help cancer-stricken kids.
Vandaad Fardi was left in tears, taunted and called “a girl” after embarking on a mission to donate his hair to poorly children when he was just five years old.
But he refused to give up on his plan and now the determined eight-year-old, from Aberdeen, will finally get the chop next week to make a wig for a child who has lost their hair.
Mum Golpar said: “It was hard for him because he had so much hair. A lot of the time others would call him a girl, which made him really upset.
“He would be crying at home and me and his dad would say ‘don’t worry you can just cut your hair and grow it again when you’re older’. But he would say ‘no mum, this is something I want to do for the kids now’.
“We explained to the school why his hair was long and the teachers explained to his other classmates and that made him feel proud and happy.”
Vandaad, who also lives with dad Farshid and little sister Sana, three, started growing his hair after asking his mum about children struggling with cancer.
His mum had told him about the Mahak Charity, which supports children with cancer in Iran, where his parents are from.
Golpar said: “He asked what the charity was and I showed him the website and he just started crying and asked what he could do to help.
“We tried to explain that when you are sick and lose your hair you can still be happy. I told him how you can help the children by going there and playing with them, donating some toys or maybe even your hair. He started laughing and said ‘how?’ When I explained he decided he wanted to do it straight away.”
The Hazlehead Primary School pupil is raising money for the Mahak Charity as well as The Little Princess Trust, who he will donate his hair to after chopping it off on Valentine’s Day.
The charity has provided thousands of real hair wigs to sick children and young people across the UK and Ireland since it was created in 2006.
It has also committed more than £20million across research projects covering a range of childhood cancers.
Golpar said she is proud of Vandaad’s determination to help others.
She said: “We thought he might do it for a couple of months and get tired of it but he made his decision and he has stuck to it for three years.
“It wasn’t easy for him. It was hard in the mornings and we had to keep tying it up when he wanted to go swimming, but he kept going.
“He’s done it and just wants to have it as short as possible now.
“We’re so proud of him.”
Vandaad told the Record it had been “very hard” to endure being picked on over his hair but said it would “all be worth it” when a needy child receives their wig.
He said: “I started it when I saw some pictures of some sick children and felt bad for them.
“Everyone doubted me because I was just five years old, but I did it for three years.
“It has been very difficult to grow it this long but it will make me very happy to help another child.”
Vandaad is trying to raise £1,000 before his big hair cut.
To donate, visit his Go Fund Me page.
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