Hairdresser Rose Garcia was inspired after watching an award winning documentary called, “Mondays at Racine,” which tells the tale of a salon in New York that opened its doors to cancer patients, free of charge, on the third Monday of each month.
“I DVR’ed it and probably cried ten times, and said ‘oh my god, this is what I want to do,’” said Garcia.
Her boss agreed, and in no time, Studio 10 became the tenth salon, and first in Illinois, to institute the program, aiming to provide support and comfort to people receiving cancer treatment.
It was a welcome offer for folks like Kathy Banker, who just wanted to regain some sense of self.
“I feel sparkly inside and I want to feel sparkly outside,” said Banker.
Banker was diagnosed with ovarian and lung cancer last December. After being bombarded with information and going through surgical procedures, she welcomed this chance for a day to be pampered and worry free.
“Programs like these for cancer patients are just I can’t tell you how cancer patients are so grateful, it just really sets you on top of the world and makes you feel that people that understand and are caring and willing to go that extra mile to help you through everything you know or through a little segment of it which is good, so this has been remarkable, you feel like you don’t deserve it but you do,” said Banker.
Services, including manicures, pedicures, make-up tips and hairstyling are performed free of charge by the salon staff. It’s a simple gesture that they hope, will touch the lives of many.
“I hope that we are able to have Mondays at Naperville every single week, that would make me happy. You know that we are known, that people feel comfortable, that there is a stigma of coming in here and when their hair is falling out that they be ashamed, embarrassed, somewhere they can come and feel safe and special. That is the goal, so we are changing cancer one Monday at a time,” said Garcia.
A private area at the salon is also reserved for patients who are ready to shave their head as they lose their hair due to chemotherapy. This service is available any day of the week.
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