A former Edmond school teacher battling Multiple Sclerosis (MS) decided to shave off all her hair Saturday as she prepares for a stem cell transplant soon.
Pamela Gooch says she's always been known for her long and curly brown hair. That was until today when she made the major move to cut it all off to raise awareness for the debilitating disease she's fighting.
"It's kind of been a security for me and at this point in my life...I don't think I need it anymore," said Gooch.
At 41-years old, Gooch is having all her hair braided in small sections.
"I tie it up here so the hair stays in one place and doesn't go everywhere."
As she was getting her locks ready to be chopped off she took a deep breath and closed her eyes; No countdown. No nothing. With each snip, the cut is started to settle in.
"I look a little different," Gooch said with a laugh.
It was a big change, just like the day she was diagnosed with MS. She has two sons, but says she's oftentimes weak and exhausted and had to quit her job as a Pre-K teacher. In order to help, she's having an experimental stem cell transplant that's only offered in Chicago.
To prep for her for losing her hair during treatment, Gooch gathered her family and friends at Salon W in Nichols Hills to witness her big cut.
"It is very emotional. It's a reality that she's going to go through a lot," said Gooch's mother, Iris Aviles Henderson.
And just like that, it was all gone. With her new ‘do' that Gooch dubs her "GI Jane" look, she says she's now ready for the biggest fight of her life.
"I do more than hope. I believe it's going to stop the progression...and that I'm going to gain a lot of things back that I lost."
Gooch heads to Chicago on Sunday to start the experimental stem cell transplant procedure at Northwestern Memorial for eight weeks. Her hair will be donated to Locks of Love, to help children battling illnesses.