What was going to be a tough and scary moment for a Fargo woman battling cancer, turned into a lifelong friendship, all thanks to a haircut.
Rachel Hinton's battle against cancer began over a year ago, with what appeared to be a sinus infection. The illness took a drastic turn, with doctors diagnosing her with lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, last October.
The diagnosis came as a shock to Hinton and her husband, who have two children, Simon, 5, and Francis, 2.
"It's been a really difficult journey," Hinton explained.
On Friday, Hinton summoned up the courage to go to the West 13th Salon to buzz off her hair for her chemotherapy treatments. What happened next was something neither Hinton nor her stylist expected.
Lacey Guck, a complete stranger to Hinton, was in the salon getting a routine haircut. While she was getting rinsed, her stylist, MaLeah Wilkerson, shared Hinton's story and why she was getting her head shaved.
In an instant, Guck knew how she wanted to show Hinton support.
"In the moment, it was just clear as day that I was going to be walking out of here with no hair," Guck laughed.
Wilkerson, at first, thought Guck was joking about getting her head shaved. But, after asking again how she would like her hair done, Guck's answer didn't change.
Wilkerson said, "It was an overwhelming feeling of community and togetherness. It broke my heart in the happiest of ways."
Her co-worker, Samantha O'Hara, Hinton's stylist, agreed.
"It just made me love my job more, really," O'Hara said. "My biggest thing with my job that I love, is making people feel beautiful, and these two look beautiful just the way they are."
While many cannot imagine a life without their hair, Guck said she didn't think twice.
"There was no fear, there was no, 'oh no, I'm losing my hair.' It was just, I have hair, now I won't. It's beautiful, it's happy; it's something we're doing together. It's a good day," Guck said.
For Hinton, the act of kindness and support goes beyond words.
"It means so much significance that she would do that," Hinton said. "It was just so simple for her, in that gave me even more faith I think, and courage that there are people out there like her."
If you would like to help spread kindness, the West 13th Salon is accepting any donations to help Hinton and her family with their mounting medical bills.
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