News 3 Neighbors: Community rallies behind barber battling cancer

Local News

Over the past week we have seen dozens of examples of neighbors helping neighbors.  That desire to help is at the heart of our latest News 3 Neighbors story which unfolded at a local barber shop.

It wasn’t your typical Saturday at Northside Barber Shop in Columbus.  Sure, the clippers were humming and the scissors snipping.  Customers were patiently waiting their turn under the watchful eyes of Floyd and Andy who are immortalized in a photo on the wall from the Andy Griffith Show.

But this particular Saturday was special.  Every person there was showing their support for barber shop owner Diana Wells Jones.  Earlier this year she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  She’s now undergoing treatment.

But she’s not in this fight alone.  Folks flooded the shop to get their haircut, buy hamburgers, hot dogs, and t-shirts, with all of the proceeds going to Diana.  

Michelle Little Barron works in the chair beside Diana and is one of her best friends.  “Our hope for today,” she said, “is to be able to help her through this year.  Diana is not married.  She doesn’t have kids.  So this is her family.  We feel that everybody we give a haircut to is family, and I think that’s how she feels about this business.  Her customers are her family.”

Diana’s parents were there proudly wearing a “Fight for Diana” t-shirt.  Her dad, Charles Wells, said, “She’s been all over the world with me.  I was in the Army 30 years and spent 22 over in Germany.  She’s been with us a long time.  She’s always treated people nice and she tries to get involved in the community.”

Bobby Hartley has been cutting hair at Northside for a long time and knew the customers would respond enthusiastically to the fundraiser for Diana.  “It’s really opened her eyes as to how many friends she’s got, how many people love her, how many people want to put their arms around her and love her,” said Hartley.

Hollie Moore is the former owner of the barber shop.  He added, “It’s really impressed me a great deal to see the people concerned, and especially knowing what Diana is going through right now.  It’s overwhelming.”

Neil Richardson has been one of Diana’s regular customers.   He says, “She’s a friend. Diana tells me something’s going on in her life, wants to know what’s going on in my life.  She prays for my girlfriend.  She prays for me.  She’s encouraging for the ministry (SafeHouse Ministry).  She pays attention to us.  So every time I come here, I know I’m coming here to see a friend.  And, by the way, I’ll get a haircut while I’m here.”

When it comes to facing the future, Diana’s family and friends know she’s determined to beat this.  Michelle says Diana has a lot of fight in her.  “She’s not weak at all.”  And her dad adds, “Her attitude is just…I’m going to make it.”

If you would like to make a donation to help Diana, you may do so by dropping by Northside Barber Shop at 5727 Moon Road.  They also still have plenty of t-shirts for sale.  

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