A BENDIGO boy has raised $22,882 for cancer research.
Cooper Hale, 10, was inspired by his own cancer journey to raise money to help other children with blood cancers.
So on March 14, a year from the day he entered isolation to begin chemotherapy and preparation for his bone marrow transplant, Cooper shaved his fiery red locks for Go Red for Cooper Day.
Cooper's mum and dad, Kirsten and Jamie Hale, said the response had been overwhelming and had only just come up with a final fundraising tally.
"The past month has been most humbling," Ms Hale said in a thank you letter to supporters.
"Words cannot express the pride and gratitude we felt on March 14th at Cooper's fundraising day, seeing his beaming smile as he had his head shaved, surrounded by family, friends and so many of our business contacts.
"The support and conversations we had with you during his fundraising efforts have been very humbling ... we raised a grand total of $22,882.15 for the World’s Greatest Shave to provide much needed funding for the Leukaemia Foundation to educate, support and hopefully find a cure for blood cancers."
Ms Hale said about 200 people cheered Cooper on during his shave and many of his friends from school had coloured or shaved their hair.
"When he first told us he wanted to do it we started with a goal of $2000," Ms Hale said.
"We just thought we'd do it among family and friends and then someone said to me, 'You always get people asking you for sponsorship, it's a good cause'.
"Then we emailed all our contacts through work (Jackal Fencing) and we got the $2000 within five days.
"We then aimed for $10,000.
"Never for a second did we think we'd get that much but with only two weeks to go until shave day we hit the $10,000 ... We're just so grateful to the amount of people who just jumped in and said we'd love to help."
The Bendigo Advertiser has followed Cooper's journey with a series of reports during the past year.
"We're pretty proud that we were able to use his journey and have him talk about it to raise awareness," Ms Hale said.
"We even made a little YouTube clip with him doing an interview about why he wanted to do it so that's helped raise awareness, too."
To watch the video and see more pictures and stories from Cooper's journey, visit www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au