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Deputies show solidarity for comrade with cancer
In a show of support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sgt. Marie Spain, sheriff's personnel and the public are invited to donate their hair from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Apple Valley sheriff's station, 14931 Dale Evans Parkway.
APPLE VALLEY • When San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sgt. Marie Spain found out she might lose her hair to chemotherapy, she jokingly told her fellow deputies that they should shave their heads so she wouldn't be the only bald one.
She never dreamed the deputies would actually do it.
After months of battling ovarian and uterine cancer, Spain’s hair began falling out in clumps last week. Spain couldn’t stand to look in the mirror and went to her stylist at High Maintenance Hotties to have her head buzzed.
When Capt. Lana Tomlin of the Apple Valley sheriff’s station found out, she suggested a hair shaving party in a show of support.
With that, the “Team ReeBee Hair Buzz” event, where deputies and the community can get their heads buzzed in solidarity, was planned and scheduled one week after Spain cut her hair.
“We decided to support Marie’s haircut to show our solidarity as she goes through this battle with cancer,” explained sheriff’s spokesperson Trish Hill.
Spain’s stylist and High Maintenance Hotties agreed to have three stylists at the event to buzz hair.
“It was a joke but this is very humbling that there are that many people supporting you,” Spain said. “It’s an awesome thing to experience.”
Monday was Spain’s first day back at the Apple Valley sheriff’s station on modified duty, after taking time off work at the end of August for surgery, and then chemotherapy and radiation. Spain says it feels wonderful to be back.
“I actually get to talk to my friends and get hugs. People are happy to see me,” Spain said. “Getting some normalcy back with the chaos of cancer and treatment is a big help.”
According to Spain, the Apple Valley sheriff’s station has been incredibly supportive of her during her battle with cancer, through day-by-day support and the hair-buzzing event.
At the event on Wednesday, Spain says many of the male deputies without shaved heads are planning to buzz their hair. Some female deputies have committed to cutting off 10 inches of their hair to donate to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children.
“These deputies are always trying to help underprivileged kids and people, and to be a support,” Spain said.
Spain’s captain told her she could take as much time off as she needed to fight the cancer, and there would be a spot for her and work for her to do whenever she was ready to come back.
“We have the best of the best at this station,” Spain said. “After going through all this and seeing how they reacted and supported me, I believe this is the best station and the best people in the department.”
As Spain continues her battle with cancer with the support of the Apple Valley sheriff’s station, she feels it is important to raise awareness about ovarian cancer, known as the silent killer for women. She feels fortunate that she experienced symptoms while her cancer was still in stage one.
“Women hardly ever experience symptoms until stage two or three. Women need to be extremely aware of their bodies and go see a doctor if something feels wrong,” Spain said. “Be so aware. It’s our silent killer.”
For more information on the hair buzz event, call Hill at 760-240-7482.
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