An outpouring of support

Published on January 7, 2013
Charles Brown, Roger Goulden, Ralph Cox, Thomas Killey, Steven Barrett, Karen Cox, Debbie Hill and Carol Goulden show off their newly shaved heads at All Polished Up.  Karen Cox had seven family and friends shave their heads in support of her cancer.  Contributed photo

By Amy Woolvett


What could have been one Shelburne woman’s darkest hour has turned into a beacon of hope.

Karen Cox was going full tilt last fall, putting all of her time into working with the Shelburne Exhibition, work and other commitments.

“She thought she was exhausted from everything,” said Cox’s mother Carol Goulden.

But when she almost collapsed, Cox sought out medical advice. 

Cox was devastated when the doctors told her they found ovarian cancer.

Doctors were able to remove the tumour but in removal it ruptured.

“They were worried about cancer cells free floating in my body,” said Cox.

To prevent further spread of cancer Cox started undergoing cancer treatments by chemotherapy.

Knowing that she was going to lose her hair, Cox made an appointment to have it shaved off before that could happen.

But what she didn’t expect was for eight appointments for the same haircut to be made that day at All Polished Up.

Many of Cox’s family and friends decided to show the full magnitude of their support by shaving their heads too.

“We need to do what we can to support people fighting cancer,” said Goulden. 

She said one of the big reasons for having her head shaved other than supporting her daughter was to raise awareness about cancer.

“There are so many people in Shelburne County fighting this disease,” she said. “Early diagnosis is the answer to beating it.”

At first Cox thought her loved ones were crazy for voluntarily shaving their heads but it didn’t take long for their message of love to hit home.

Cox is emotional, trying to fight back the tears when she tries to explain just how much their gesture meant to her.

“It does the heart good to know that you have so much love and support,” she said.  “It makes this whole thing easier.”

But it wasn’t just family and friends that have made her fight a smoother ride.

Cox said that she has been so encouraged by her community with the outpouring of support with cards, food and letters.

“Just letting me know that they are there for you,” she said.  “You don’t know how many people you know and are there for you until something like this happens.