Allen and Lynn Hamilton accept a $2,500 donation from the Organized Khaos Percussion Ensemble (whose members are seen behind the couple) on March 9 at Spencer Middle School in Langford. The donation will go toward costs associated with staying in Vancouver, where the Hamiltons’ daughter is receiving leukemia treatments. (Jake Romphf/Black Press Media)

Allen and Lynn Hamilton accept a $2,500 donation from the Organized Khaos Percussion Ensemble (whose members are seen behind the couple) on March 9 at Spencer Middle School in Langford. The donation will go toward costs associated with staying in Vancouver, where the Hamiltons’ daughter is receiving leukemia treatments. (Jake Romphf/Black Press Media)

Sooke family receives support from percussion group after daughter’s leukemia diagnosis

Funds will help the Hamiltons stay with their daughter, Shae, in Vancouver during her treatments

A Greater Victoria student percussion group is helping support one of their alumni after a Sooke family’s lives changed drastically last month.

Allen and Lynn Hamilton said their 22-year-old daughter Shae wasn’t feeling well for a couple of days before she went to Victoria General Hospital on Feb. 17. Within a couple hours of running blood tests, the hospital diagnosed Shae with leukemia and she was quickly transported to Vancouver that night.

A bone marrow biopsy taken the next day found Shae has acute promyelocytic leukemia and she started chemo treatments right away.

“She’s responded well to treatment, obviously with the chemo it’s taken the wind out of her sails,” Allen said.

Doctors told the parents that Shae has likely only had the cancer for a couple weeks.

“It’s not one that hides for a while,” Lynn said. “We caught it probably right away.”

“It’s going to be a long road to recovery for her,” Allen said. “They said it’s a very high success rate, but as the doctors say, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t go without complications along the way.”

The treatments Shae needs are only offered in Vancouver. Those treatments will last around nine months, so Lynn has a taken a leave of absence from her job so she can stay with Shae.

That’s why the Organized Khaos Percussion Ensemble, a non-profit musical group for students in Grades 6 to 12, donated $2,500 to the Hamiltons to help cover the costs of staying with, and visiting Shae.

The percussion group performs at international and local festivals — during non-pandemic times — but their main goal is to raise funds for leukemia causes.

Organized Khaos’ annual We Will Beat It fundraising concert has raised over $200,000 for local children and families since 2000. Last year’s event has helped support 18 Vancouver Island families.

“We’ve helped many families in this area,” said Duey Wright, the group’s director.

Wright and Jen Fiorin, Organized Khaos’ assistant director, taught Shae when she was in the Program for Academic and Creative Enrichment (PACE), where she performed for 13 years.

“We know Shae and we know how great of a kid she is and we know how great of a family they are,” Fiorin said. “This is going to be a huge trouble for them and this is how we can help.”

READ: PACE Musical Theatre to put on a variety of broadway hits all in one show

Wright called Shae PACE’s first “rebel,” whose confidence and flair always shined bright during her time and performances with the program.

Fiorin said it’s an honour to help the Hamiltons.

“We’re here for anything that they need and it’s special to be able to give back to someone that is close in that way,” she said.

“It’s huge,” said Allen, reacting to the donation. “We’ve had so much support, it’s crazy.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Follow us on Instagram.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver stopped on Pat Bay Highway after road rage reports fails breathalyzer test: police

Several witnesses reported driver to Saanich police, school officer intercepted

Police escorts for Victoria bylaw workers entering encampments in parks will continue for this month, after council approved a $25,000 budget request from VicPD. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bylaw staff encampment work to include police escort through April

Taxpayers to see modest increase in property taxes for 2021

Police are looking for the driver of this truck after it nearly hit a group of kids in Esquimalt on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Police)
Victoria police looking for driver of truck that nearly missed kids before crashing in Esquimalt

The truck’s driver, a man, fled the scene after the truck crashed into a house’s fence

This property, at 1980 Fairfield Place, is adjoined to Gonzales Hill Park and is the centre of community opposition and a B.C. Supreme Court case as owners are looking to build a single-family home on the lot. Jake Romphf/News Staff
Home construction near Victoria’s Gonzales Hill Park spurs legal battle

Gonzales Hill Preservation Society worried about impacts to the park’s wildlife, rare fauna, views

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Bulldogs forward Stephen Castagna flips the puck into the Clippers zone during a game on Oct. 24. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Island BCHL game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Nanaimo Clippers team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Most Read