LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BOISE -- This is the season to be thankful, and one Boise Police Sergeant has a lot to be thankful for. After a courageous battle with leukemia and a bone marrow transplant, Sgt. Kip Higby is now in remission.

Losing hair is a part of cancer treatment, so his police department family decided to grow hair in support of him and his fight.

The 22-year BPD veteran heads up the special victims unit and is the supervisor of the bomb squad.

But in April 2012, his world was rocked by devastating news.

A couple of months before I was diagnosed I just started feeling tired, said Higby. Finally went in to see my doctor and he called me the next morning when he got some blood work back, and said go check yourself into the emergency room.

Higby was diagnosed with leukemia.

Spent the next 41 days in the hospital here, ended up having to go to Seattle for 4 months and have a bone marrow transplant, he said.

While he was gone that fall, Police Chief Mike Masterson had an idea.

Since Sgt. Higby was losing his hair, he allowed officers to grow goatees, which are normally not allowed, in exchange for a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I thought man, what a great idea that was, said Higby. At the time, I was going through chemo and treatments, I couldn't grow hair, I was lucky to hang onto my brows.

With about $3,000 raised that year, and with Higby back on the job, Masterson agreed to do it again -- this time with Higby is taking part.

I've got the full goatee, and I'm actually able to grow hair again, said Higby. Last year I contributed financially to the cause and this year, I felt like I had to take it to a higher level.

Chief Masterson grew a goatee too.

I was basically advised under a very dire warning that I could be turning the Boise Police Department into the Western Chapter of Duck Dynasty, Masterson joked. Ultimately we thought it was a way we could support him by donating to a great cause.

Unfortunately, the department's women can't join in by growing facial hair, but they did donate money.

Just over $4,000 was raised by just the police department and another $3,000 was donated by other city employees.

The goatees won't be around forever.

January first, we turn back the clock and everyone is clean shaven, said Masterson.

But for now, when Kip Higby spots a goatee around the office, he knows he's around family. And he knows the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is getting much needed support too. He hopes to make this becomes an annual tradition.

For more information on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, click here.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/07/02/12052521/