News

Actions

'We just didn't want her to be alone.' Canton sisters shave their heads to support brother's girlfriend battling cancer

Posted at 7:00 AM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 07:00:03-04

CANTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — In the last semester of Zoe Weber's senior year at Plymouth High School, she never imagined her life would take such a drastic turn.

The 18-year-old lacrosse player was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma in January.

“My heart just sank. I couldn’t believe it," she said. "I never thought this would’ve happened to me. It hurts my heart when other people get cancer… I couldn’t believe it.”

Zoe Weber (Photo courtesy Weber family)
Zoe Weber (Photo courtesy Weber family)

In just a short time, Zoe went from preparing for graduation, prom, and planning for college, to also factoring in how her life will be different with this diagnosis. One of the biggest changes she'd have to face is the loss of her hair.

“I’m a teenage girl and I want my hair," she said. "Like, who doesn’t want that?"

On Feb.9, Zoe began chemotherapy. She goes twice a month on a bi-weekly basis and will continue this regimen for six months until treatment ends in July. Like many, after the chemo began the hair loss followed, forcing Zoe to make a difficult decision.

The teen chose to shave her head completely as she underwent treatment.

"I don’t want to stress about my hair falling out," Zoe said. "And it’s a lot better now so I’m glad I did it.”

Zoe Weber (Photo courtesy Weber family)
(Photo courtesy Weber family)

Although an incredibly difficult decision for anyone facing the effects of cancer to make, Zoe felt less alone through this process with the support of her boyfriend's two younger sisters, Genny and Lizzie Vos.

So after shaving her head one Saturday while surrounded by loved ones, Zoe learned of one of the grandest gestures.

Genny, 10, and Lizzie, 12, asked their mother if they could also shave their heads. For Jennifer Vos, it was a definite yes.

“When the girls expressed that they wanted to do this for Zoe, I was 100 percent behind them because I knew how Zoe would feel," Jennifer said. "It would just make her feel loved and supported, and what better way for my girls to do that than with this.”

Jennifer, a mother of nine, says she knows all too well how cancer can affect a family. Her mother was diagnosed with the disease when she was just 15 years old. She witnessed her mother losing her hair and understands the emotional impact of that loss.

For Genny and Lizzie their reason for shaving their head was simple.

“We just didn’t want her to be alone,” Lizzie said.

After having her head shaved, Zoe found out the next day what her boyfriend Spencer's younger sisters were up to. They revealed that they too had their hair shaved off.

“My heart… I couldn’t believe it," Zoe said. "I just felt all the love that they have for me.”

In a Facebook post, the girls' dad, Christopher Vos, celebrated their decision to support a friend during tough times, saying how incredibly proud he was as a father.

“You know, parenting is one of the hardest jobs on the planet," Christopher said. "It’s a difficult job. It’s very rewarding, too. As a parent, you can’t imagine the emotion of having your kids have a medical scare or cancer. So, to see these girls do this – when I talk about parenting being hard, it’s one of those moments where you’re glad to be a parent because it just helps you feel that you’re doing a good job."

Genny and Lizzie's brother Spencer said he knew the moment his sisters told him that they wanted to support his girlfriend that they would go through with it with no problem.

“I know Lizzie and Genny and they’re very outgoing," he said. "So I knew they were going to do it when they said they were.”

The support from the Vos family, as well as other members of the community, has left Zoe Weber and her family in awe of the amount of love they've received.

“It’s been amazing to me and my husband about how people have reacted towards Zoe," said Kim Weber. "We never would’ve thought we would get that much support.”

Organizations have already shown an outpouring of support, offering Zoe a dream prom, and even setting up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.