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

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Victoria’s economy is expected to bounce back fairly easily, according to a new report from BMO Capital Markets released April 15. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria in good position to bounce back post-pandemic, says BMO

City’s smaller size, lower COVID-19 caseload and diverse industry base bode well

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria rose to 5.7 per cent in March 2021, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to February 2021. But the local unemployment rate remains the among the lowest in Canada. (Black Press Media File)
Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate rises to 5.7 per cent

The increase marks a reversal from recent months, but local economy among the strongest in Canada

Saanich police officers were one group of dozens that submitted dance clips to the Greater Victoria Festival Society, to help create the Dance Across Victoria video montage. (Youtube/Screenshot)
WATCH: Saanich police, Victoria mayor bust some moves in new Dance Across Victoria video

Montage features submitted dance clips from across Greater Victoria

Former Oak Bay High Grade 12 student Brandon Kip plays the $100,000 Steinway piano in the Dave Dunnet Theatre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay High Alumni Association passes torch to new president

The association has given back more than $70,000 in its 16 years

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read