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Cancer survivor pays it forward with concert at hair salon

Local musician Chris Scott serenaded the hairdresser, whose act of kindness helped him through his darkest time; 'If everybody shows a little kindness we can change the world'

On Friday morning, customers at Vicky's Hair Salon on Townline Rd. were surprised with a concert by Niagara Falls resident Chris Scott.

Scott had come down to the hair salon to play some tunes for owner Vicky Zivcic — to thank her for the kindness she showed him during his battle with cancer a year ago.

“One small gesture turns into a big gesture down the road,” says Scott, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “If everybody just gives a little and shows a little kindness, we can change the world.”

All his life, music has been Scott’s passion. He found success in his early 20s when he linked up with Jury Krytiuk, the manager for Stompin’ Tom Connors, and had his songs played on Top 40 country radio.

After a few years, Scott decided to take a break from the music business so he could start a a family. But he never stopped playing. 

When he retired three years ago, he decided to once again focus all his energy on his music career.

“I decided my kids are grown now and my grandkids are doing great — it’s my turn again,” he says. “We just started entertaining and doing the jobs I had lined up and then COVID hit. That shut everything down.”

A few months later, Scott was diagnosed with appendix cancer.

“When they took the appendix out what they saw was not good so I had to go back in for another operation,” says Scott. “Then I had to do the chemo. I’ve been a healthy guy all my life so this was a bump in the road for me. It really set me back and after the chemo they did some checks and they found something growing again.”

Doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto told Scott that the odds weren’t in his favour.

“I went and got all my funeral arrangements ready and got my cemetery plot and I got my will all done,” he says. “I honestly didn’t think I was going to be coming back."

The day before going in for his big operation, Scott's partner Celine took him to see her favourite hairdresser, Zivcic.

“When I went in there I met Vicky and she was very kind,” Scott remembers. “She cut my hair and we talked. We got along really well. They did a great job with my hair. I went to pay and she wouldn’t take any money. She said: ‘No, that’s just something I want to do for you.’”

“If my client needs a pick-up, whether it’s sickness, or something in the family, it’s one way of passing it on,” Zivcic tells ThoroldToday. “I can make a person feel better and it doesn’t cost me anything. It’s my time to give to people and make them feel better.”

“I just really appreciate that,” says Scott.

It might have been small act of kindness, but it made Scott feel special in a period of deep turmoil.

The next day, after a nine-hour operation, doctors told Scott he was going to live.

“Now I’ve been playing and entertaining all over the place,” he says. “Things have been really good. I really appreciate people who do things for others because I am that kind of guy. You get something out of that.”

The mood was joyous Friday morning as Scott regaled costumers with a rendition of ‘I Walk the Line' by Johnny Cash.

For Zivcic, it was an absolute joy to see Scott back on his feet again.

“He surprised us because this was his thank you for me,” she says. “He made me cry. It’s so beautiful.”