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Pampering eases pain of breast cancer

December 06, 1998

cancer makeoverBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: YVETTE MAY / staff photographer




Lying on her back with her eyes closed, Mary Bock of Greencastle was the picture of relaxation.

For half an hour, massage therapist Susan Martz of Sagittarius Hair Designs had been helping Bock, a breast cancer survivor, release her tension and take her mind off future chemotherapy treatments.

"It feels great," said Bock, 34, who has been in remission for the past six months.

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Bock and 50 other cancer survivors from the organization Y-ME of the Cumberland Valley spent Sunday afternoon being pampered by beauty professionals at Sagittarius Hair Designs at Venice Inn on Dual Highway.

Salon owner Marsha Knicley organized the event, and 28 members of her staff volunteered their time to provide the Y-ME group with complimentary haircuts, makeovers, manicures and massages.

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Numerous local stores donated food for the event. Other individuals volunteered to decorate the lobby of the Venice Inn.

Bock said she enjoyed receiving so much attention on Sunday and being a part of the Y-ME group.

Y-ME is a Hagerstown-based breast cancer support organization. It provides numerous services to survivors including: a toll-free "Hopeline" with answers to questions about breast cancer, free mammograms for those in financial need, quarterly newsletters, a bank which provides free bras and prostheses and self-examination workshops.

"The diagnosis itself is a shock, but the support from people I've met in Y-ME has been overwhelming," Bock said. "Cancer survivors are the best people for sticking together. It makes the unknown not so scary."

Martz said she enjoyed providing her services to the members of the group.

"I benefited from the day, too," she said. "They are an inspiration to me. ... It's wonderful to be around such a supportive group. It's been a very uplifting day."

Salon owner Knicley said she modeled the event after one at the Vidal Sassoon salon in New York City.

The daughter of a cancer victim, Knicley said she wanted the day to be a tribute to her mother, the late Rosemary Finney.

Knicley said she hopes to make the day of beauty an annual event.

"I wanted them to enjoy themselves and feel special," she said.

She said she was touched to hear one Y-ME member tell her, "At least I know somebody cares."

Knicley said she feels lucky that she has a talent which she is able to share with others through such an event.

Survivor Una Lee McCarty of Hagerstown said she enjoyed herself at the Sagittarius salon this weekend.

It also lifted her spirits, she said.

"I never get a chance to get a way and have someone take care of me," she said. "It was so much fun."

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