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Cancer survivors get pampered

April 03, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

Michelle Luhn celebrated her birthday Sunday afternoon with a haircut and style, a makeover and a soothing hand massage.

The Hagerstown resident was one of about 100 breast cancer survivors at Sagittarius Salon & Spa getting the same treatment at the salon's fifth annual Life is a Gift day of beauty.

Jordan Knicley, salon vice president and owner, said the day of pampering began in memory of her grandmother who lived for 30 years with breast cancer before passing away.

"It's something to give back to the breast cancer community," she said.

Luhn said the hairstyle she left Sagittarius with Sunday was a lot fuller than her usual style.

"It's nice to be around so many happy people," she said. "It's nice to be pampered once in a while."

Luhn, a two-year breast cancer survivor, said she came to the salon for the first time for last year's day of beauty.

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All of the salon's services were free for the women, including food donated from local restaurants. The salon employees also donated their time to the event, Knicley said.

Not all of the women opted for the complete treatment, she said. Some of the women currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment were wearing wigs and opted not to have their hair styled.

Ruth Sherman of Williamsport said she had her hair and make-up done.

"I also got a hand treatment," she said. "It's just so wonderful."

Sherman finished her cancer treatment nearly three years ago and said she is a Sagittarius client.

On Sunday, she got a trim and won a door prize.

Her friend, Evelyn Flory of Keedysville, also won a prize - a basket filled with coffee beans and other items.

Sherman and Flory went through radiation treatments together.

"You need the support," Flory said. "We always talked on the phone, even now."

Betty Barnes of Martinsburg, W.Va., got permission to arrive two hours late to work Sunday so she could be pampered at the salon.

Barnes, a seven-year breast cancer survivor, has been to three of the salon's beauty days.

"This is a real treat," she said. "I look forward to this every year."

Karen Fickes of Hagerstown said it is an event she also gets excited about.

"It's just a really nice day," she said.

Fickes knows Linda Gibbons of Hagerstown through a breast cancer support group, and the two were at the salon together Sunday.

"I'm still getting used to my hair," Gibbons said.

She had a slightly different hairstyle and was adjusting to how full it was.

Gibbons, a seven-year survivor, finished her radiation treatment in 2002.

"We made it," she said.

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