Meeting Needs in Trying Times: A Mission Moment

July 2020

Carolina Breast Friends helps people through their breast cancer experience. It's the driving force behind everything we do at the Pink House, and a pandemic doesn't change that. It only sometimes changes the way we make it happen. Here's just one example.

Dana McSwain--a breast cancer Survivor who was just beginning chemotherapy--called the Pink House in May with a unique and heartfelt request.

Dana has long, beautiful dark hair, and she knows the chemotherapy she is taking to fight her breast cancer will cause her to lose all of it. That alone can be hard to cope with, but Dana's concern had more to do with her family. She has 2 young daughters, ages 2 and 5, and she was worried about them having to watch her lose all of that hair. To help ease their experience, she wanted to get her hair cut short before she started losing it altogether.

In normal times, Dana might just have gone into a salon with her request. However, these are not normal times. Since Dana is receiving chemotherapy, her immune system is compromised. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, going into a salon or even going out in the community at all poses a risk she can't afford to take.

Enter the Pink House.

When we got Dana's call, we dove into finding a creative solution that would help Dana and her children while keeping safety in mind. We reached out to one of our volunteers, Tami, who has a cosmetology license and also happens to be a breast cancer Survivor herself. Tami is not currently working in a salon and has also been very careful about potential exposure to the virus. She was happy to help and agreed to cut Dana's hair outside and wearing a mask.

As you can see from the photos, it was a meaningful experience for Dana and her family--not to mention an important connection with another breast cancer Survivor who's further along the journey. Dana's husband started the process by ceremonially removing her ponytail, and Dana's children were able to participate in the experience. They all cheered her on and made it into a positive family memory. It was just what Dana hoped for.

Dana shares, "I'm so thankful for the love and support from the Pink House. Meeting Tami at the beginning of my journey was necessary. I know that now, halfway through my treatment. Tami showed me what strength is, she showed me that I would be ok, and she gave me encouragement."

Carolina Breast Friends meets needs, connects Survivors, and helps people through and beyond their breast cancer journey. We always have, and with your support, we always will.  |  #SurvivorSummer



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