Colleen Shaffer, Circle of Hope founder receives a cut and style from Janat Barahas, Indo Salon owner, at the Circle of Hope Celebrate Wellness Day event on Sunday, Sept. 7,2019. Gilbert BernalThe Signal

Circle of Hope helps cancer survivors match inside and outside beauty

When men and women walked out of Indo Salon on Sunday, they came out feeling rejuvenated and more stylish than they were when they walked in.

On Sunday, Indo Salon and Circle of Hope hosted a wellness day and invited their clients as well as walk-in cancer survivors and individuals currently undergoing treatment to receive free hair care, makeup, nail treatment and massages.

“Our Celebrate Wellness Day is all about giving back to our clients and give them a day when they can take time out for themselves and receive some self-care,” said Marguerite Berg, program director for Hope’s Haven Cancer Wellness Center. 

Circle of Hope, the organization that operates Hope’s Haven Cancer Wellness Center, hosted a spa wellness day at their Newhall office last year, but hosting the event at an actual salon helped to further elevate the mood, said Tricia Rasplicka, program coordinator at Hope’s Haven.

“Last year we held the event near Mother’s Day and we decorated our office and it was really well received, but having it in a beautiful salon like this provides an extra escape from the pressures our clients go through every day,” Rasplicka said. “How often do men and women who are cancer survivors just get to sit in a salon and get pampered while talking about their experiences?”

Indo Salon owner Janet Barahas said it was important for her to help support Circle of Hope’s event because some of her best friends have recently undergone cancer treatment.

“This hits really close to my heart and I’m just happy that I have a place that I can use to give back to the community,” Barahas said. “It’s important to do anything we can to help people going through cancer, and Circle of Hope are angels because it takes so much time, effort and sacrifice to put on these kinds of events. When someone you love has cancer it feels better to know that this kind of support exists.”

Stylist Carletta Cole, who herself is a caretaker for her mother, said she has a lot of respect for Circle of Hope’s efforts and was more than happy to volunteer her time.

“It’s been amazing hearing all of these survivors’ stories and learning all that they’ve been through,” Cole said. “It gives me another radiance of life to know how wonderful it is to survive something as tragic and difficult as cancer.”

Eleven-year cancer survivor Susan Castillo received the full spa treatment and said the event was a big boost for her emotionally. 

“I stopped working two years ago so it’s amazing to be able to receive services like this that I normally wouldn’t be able to afford,” Castillo said. “When I get home, my kids will be able to see their mom full of life again. Being a cancer survivor, our priorities aren’t to look pretty, but to survive every day and to devote what energy we have to our families. I believe in a beautiful inside but this event just reminds me how beautiful I am on the outside.”

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