a day of pampering


My mom-in-law, Chris, is a breast cancer survivor {that’s her on the bottom left in the pink scarf}. Since the day she received her diagnosis, she’s been passionate about spreading awareness and helping other women through their battles with cancer. Over the years, I’ve watched her open her home to support groups, offer her cell number to strangers who need encouragement, volunteer her time and services to several local cancer organizations, and create events of her own to spread awareness and raise funds for cancer research in our community. It’s been nothing short of amazing to witness her journey from treatment, to recovery, to spokesperson and superwoman of a cause that effects so many families.

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About six years ago, shortly after Chris finished her treatment, she had an idea. She wanted to host a small event at her home for women battling cancer; an evening of pampering and relaxation to forget about the hell of treatment for just a few hours and enjoy some fun and fellowship with a side of spa services. She mentioned it to her friends, Jessica and Debbie (pictured with her above) over cocktails one evening. Jessica works for Estee Lauder in the local Belk department store, and shared the idea with her boss, who loved it so much he took it to his boss. Long story short, Chris’ little home spa party turned into a full-scale soiree hosted by our local Belk store!


Besides all the medical effects, women enduring cancer treatment face personal challenges they may have never expected: How do I do my makeup without eyebrows or lashes? What’s the proper way to wear a wig? What cosmetics are suitable for my skin, now sensitive from chemotherapy? What can I wear to feel stylish and beautiful after my mastectomy?

Chris and her volunteer committee filled Belk with vendors that could answer all of those questions and more — in a single afternoon, in an atmosphere that was celebratory and supportive instead of clinical and intimidating.

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Businesses from all over town volunteered to set up at the event and offer pampering and educational services free-of-charge. Chad and his father-in-law dressed up and greeted each guest with a pink carnation as they came in the store. Salons gave manicures and showed ladies how to apply false lashes. Wig specialists brought tables filled with stylish coifs to try. Makeup artists were on-hand to give makeovers, and health and fitness experts doled out advice. Beautiful survivors sashayed down a runway in a fall fashion show. And women’s lives were brightened and made better in a lovely afternoon.



We’ve had five pampering events since then — the last of which was held yesterday afternoon — and they just keep getting bigger and better with each passing year. But we still honor the traditions of that first event in 2008 {cue the handsome greeter}.




Each year, I leave the event with a full heart. Proud of my family, inspired by the strength and courage of cancer survivors, and happy to live in a community that wholeheartedly supports such important causes. Looking forward to next year!



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  1. 10.26.12

    S sweet!

  2. 10.1.12

    This difference does not make you feel strange: an insurmountable amount may be now the hype surrounding the iphone five, however, I can’t believe of any equipment can be faster than Android devices (when it unveiled the Droid Razr HD, Motorola maybe could change our minds). In this connection, I cannot help but feel premature to say sorry to Nokia, the upcoming Nokia Windows Telephone 8 devices, which will probably be announced in early September (probably a month before the iphone five).

  3. 9.21.12
    Nan Webster said:

    I am so very proud of my dear friend Chris Hazelwood and all that she has and still continues to accomplish! From this event to trying to beat the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Human Pink Cancer Ribbon! What next Christine….we are all anxiously waiting!

  4. 9.20.12
    smcwrites said:

    That is so neat, as a daughter of a breast cancer survivor I would be very interested in organizing something like this as well! How inspiring, thanks for posting this :)

  5. 9.18.12
    leah.s said:

    What a beautiful time to relax and celebrate life.

  6. 9.18.12
    Cassandra said:

    I would love to try and put something like this together! I have a huge home that would work perfect for something like this and I love to entertain and throw a party so why not do something so amazing?!? Where do you start though?

    • 9.19.12

      I think you’d probably start by contacting some local spas, salons, and fitness experts. You’d be surprised at how many small business owners there are that would love to be part of something like this. Cancer affects so many of us, and there are a lot of kind people out there that want to help and show support! :)

  7. 9.17.12
    Jupe said:

    This is so wonderful…I”m glad your mom got a chance to celebrate and be pampered!

    <3 Cambria

  8. 9.17.12
    Corinne said:

    What a fantastic event for a great cause! Stories of women like your mother-in-law who use their experiences to help others are so inspiring :)

    Life etc

  9. 9.17.12
    arayofsun said:

    This is so inspiring. Cancer effects all of us in one way or another and I can only imagine how relieved and relaxed this event made all of the participants feel.