Source: Brampton Guardian
Brampton, ON (Canada) spa owner offers those with cancer some special care
As a cancer survivor, Nellie Junipero understands the journey and its challenges.
That’s why the Brampton resident has been offering people comfort through both her salon and the annual Circle of Hope, an event that celebrates courage and optimism of caregivers and survivors.
This year, the Circle of Hope is taking place Sunday, April 24, at noon at Sagan Banquet Hall, 7180 Edwards Blvd. Cost of admission is $25/per person. Former CFL Player tuned motivational speaker Orlando Bowen will deliver the keynote address, while retired professional boxer George Chuvalo will stop by to present survivors tiny boxing gloves to encourage their fighting spirit.
“Our theme this year is ‘Rocky,’ and we would love for people, not just with cancer but with any kind of chronic illness, to attend the Circle of Hope to become part of the circle,” said Junipero who was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002. “The event is about not giving up.”
Junipero, owner of Body Revival Spa and Salon, is a licensed oncology aesthetician and is among just a handful in Brampton to offer specialized salon services to those with cancer.
Junipero offers aesthetic therapy treatments such as facials, massage treatments and hair and skin services, using gentle and safe products for clients.
Tammy Snow, 46, a five-time cancer survivor, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and in 2011 she was told she also has ovarian cancer.
The Brampton resident, who’s battling the cancers and lymphedema, is currently part of a clinical trial. More than 29 chemotherapy treatments, and a cocktail of strong medicines over the years, have caused Snow’s skin and scalp to become extremely dry and sensitive. Her nails are brittle and chapped.
When Snow heard about oncology aesthetic services at Body Revival Spa and Salon, she said she was thrilled to know that she could relax and not be wary of getting an infection or a reaction to chemicals.
“This is one of the most important times you should be pampering yourself because, when you look in the mirror and realize you have no hair, eyelashes or eyebrows, it’s hard to find who you are,” Snow said. “To come here and get some makeup done for special occasions or have a wig made means you can look at the face staring back at you in the mirror and say, ‘I’m still here.’”
A hair stylist at Junipero’s salon recently booked a special after-hours appointment to accommodate a woman with cancer who wanted to shave her head. It was an emotional experience for the woman and the stylist.
When Junipero heard about the incident, she hit upon the idea to transform one of the existing spaces in the salon as a private room for cancer patients to come in anytime to have their heads shaved.
Snow says the salon is a place of refuge from the grind of hospital, drugs and diagnoses for her and her mother Linda Charboneau, 67, who too is undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.
The duo said they, along with 10 of their family and friends, plan on attending the Circle of Hope event this year.
“When you meet others who are going through what you’re experiencing, it gives you hope,” Snow said. “You begin to question your mortality when you get diagnosed, but being in a room filled with survivors is just so empowering.”