My name is Saundra Shapiro and I created Compassionate Beauty™, a unique centre designed for women undergoing cancer treatment. The idea for such a facility had its spark in 1996, when I was the owner-operator of Beaners Fun Cut for Kids. While working at Beaners, I became close to many of my clients. One in particular, Giah, entered Beaners and announced that her cancer was back. Once again she would be enduring the physically and emotionally devastating world of cancer treatment.
That Sunday we closed the store, dimmed the lights, put soft music on, and I lovingly shaved her head. As I was doing so, I wondered what her choices were. Where else could she have gone? How must it feel to sit in a mall salon or a barber shop, with absolutely no privacy, and suffer through the indignity of having her head shaved? Some women must do the best they can in the privacy of their own bathrooms, but they won't likely have sterile equipment. I knew at this moment that I wanted to do more for women afflicted with cancer.
Then my entire world was rocked to its very core. Louise, my childhood best friend, was diagnosed with recurrent cervical cancer. Surgery and chemo were both part of her protocol. When she called from Kelowna, BC crying while telling me that her hair was falling out, I immediately grabbed a wig and my clippers and was on the highway. Seemed exactly like the scene from the movie ``Beaches``. Hours slowly passed as I drove, and I was lost in my thoughts. It turned out to be a life altering drive through those miles in the mountains - I got serious about making Compassionate Beauty™ happen.
Together, Louise and I spent that year, during her treatment, thinking of all the things women would want to have at Compassionate Beauty™.
One day in particular, Louise just wanted a facial but she wasn't comfortable taking off her wig and laying on the esthetics bed. She wanted to feel safe and accepted and have a sense of belonging, instead of standing out because of her visible effects of chemotherapy. Compassionate Beauty™ now has a facial room and happily loves every woman that has a treatment, with hair or without.
Louise was also true believer in massage, of the healing touch, and of the need for intimate, personal connections. We talked for hours about services, privacy, nurturing and dignity.
Compassionate Beauty™ offers many types of massage, all done in the privacy of the treatment room, no lockers or privacy concerns.
It is with profound sadness that I tell you that Louise lost her battle with cancer on September 21, 2004.I know and truly believe that she is with me everyday, helping, guiding, and loving our dream, Compassionate Beauty™ Ltd.
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