Hair becomes a part of ones identity. It is how people are described to others. Most often it is referred to as a distinct feature. For women, hair can be a part of their femininity, so when for whatever reason it is suddenly gone, it is a loss to its owner.
Originally from the Lower Mainland, Kelcy Slocombe, ended up in Princeton. She took her basic training to become a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in July of 2003 and was then transferred up to Williams Lake. Slocombe came from Williams Lake to Princeton. “I thought Princeton was a good fit,” she said of her latest posting. “My husband likes golfing and Princeton has a really nice course and I think it is a good place for a family.”
Slocombe is married with three boys and just after Christmas received some news that shook her family. Kelcy’s sister Colleen was diagnosed with leukemia. Colleen is Kelcy’s older sister and at 36 is the mother of two young children. She just finished earning her way to becoming a full fledged RN and started having some health issues. “First she had a rash on her legs and then just wasn’t feeling a hundred per cent and luckily for her medical knowledge, Colleen pushed for extra tests,” explained Kelcy. Blood work was done and next thing the family knew, Colleen was sitting in front of an oncologist hearing the dreaded word cancer. Diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Colleen was checked into the Edmonton Hospital where she lives and began chemotherapy treatment.
Kelcy said, “Colleen is doing pretty well. She is doing a lot of positive thinking and I think that really helps.” In early February, Colleen had to do the deed. As her hair began falling out in clumps, she decided it was time to shave the rest. Now bald and beautiful, sister Kelcy said it is her turn. “I want to show my sister how much I support her. If she is going through it, then, what better way to show her my support.”
Slocombe is not just cutting her hair off. She has a plan. “I didn’t just want to shave my head bald without doing some fundraising to make it more worthwhile,” Slocombe added. “My goal was to raise a thousand dollars and I am already there.” Now Slocombe is looking to shatter her goal. “It has been incredible…all the support I have received,” she said. “Ex-co-workers, friends, and people in this community have gone out of their way to donate. Maiya from Maiya’s Spa has donated a pedicure to use for a fundraiser and Doug Haayer said he would triple his donation if I shaved my head completely bald. I feel really blessed with the support. When people hear about my sister, they give money and their own personal story.” Slocombe’s family has been battling cancer for a long time. Our grandfather had brain cancer, our grandmother had breast cancer and our mom had skin cancer. This is not our first look at the disease. Slocombe said she also hopes her efforts will show her support for other families going through the same thing, like fellow officer Trevor Osborne from the Keremeos detachment whose two year old granddaughter Taylor was diagnosed with leukemia this fall. “My sister is one of many who are trying their best to earn the title survivor. I hope that through continual fundraising one day, cancer will be a a thing of the past.”
Right now, it is looking like Colleen will need a bone marrow transplant and Kelcy and their brother are being tested to see if they are a possible match and can be a donor. Slocombe has always been supportive of cancer fundraising and said this is just the next step. “Our family wasn’t expecting to hear that a family member was diagnosed with this kind of cancer, but then I don’t think it is ever expected for any family.” There are risks of infection and other challenges the family must face. “My sister’s six year old daughter didn’t really understand why she had to wear gloves and a mask and couldn’t hug her mom when she had a cold, but I know we will all get through it. Colleen is a strong person with a good support team. Our mom has been there helping for two weeks and her friends have been supporting her and I will be there this week.”
Slocombe plans to surprise her sister with her own bald head. “I plan to surprise her, as her look-a-like when I arrive in Edmonton of February 15,” said Slocombe. “It is tougher for a woman to chop off all her hair I think and if I can make my sister feel a little bit better by chopping off mine, then I will.”
The future for Colleen includes a hunt for a donor match. Siblings have a 25 per cent chance of being that match and Slocombe doesn’t know the odds if they have to find a match outside the family, but hopes one way or another a donor will be found. “We want Colleen to get better and back to her life with her family as quickly as possible,” stated Kelcy.
To support Constable Slocombe efforts and honour her sister during her fight Google “2010 Cops for Cancer Interior Region” and click on Kelcy Slocombe who is listed as the top fundraiser.