A promise to her dying husband is prompting a Port Alberni woman to cut 60 centimetres of her hair off and give the financial proceeds she makes for doing it to Cops For Cancer.
Debbie Molloy, 53, is shearing her locks off at Walmart as part of the Cops For Cancer, the riders of which arrive in Port Alberni on Friday afternoon.
The retired health-care worker is living up to a promise she made to her late husband Junior, who died of lung cancer in October 2011.
Molloy trimmed her hair last summer and said the last time it was short was five years ago. “Junior said to me “You’ve got that big mop of hair, so if you want to do this for me then go for it” and I am,” she said.
Molloy said she hopes to raise $3,000 and has set up a website for people to get information about her initiative and to make donations. She’s also set up donation jars in the Port Pub, where Junior liked to frequent, and in Pastimes sports bar at the Best Western Barclay Hotel.
Junior was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago and began to undergo chemotherapy. But the procedure was too virulent and he subsequently stopped it. “He was getting too sick from it and wanted to concentrate on quality of life rather than quantity of it,” Debbie said. “He wanted to live the rest of his life the way he wanted to live it and he did.”
Born in the Maritimes, Junior was a vagabond—never staying in one place too long. He served in the Canadian Armed Forces until he retired in 1993. The couple came to Port Alberni 19 years ago after living in Ontario.
The couple returned to Nova Scotia in May 2011 to see Junior’s family for what he said was the last time. It was the last trip he took, Debbie said.
Junior and Debbie have no children. He was survived by an older brother and sister. “He died before them but that was him,” Debbie said. “People used to say he didn’t do things by the book but he did – by his own book.”
Edited to reflect name preference.