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Behind the Scenes of Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day

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You never know when inspiration will strike. That’s certainly the story of Babara Paget and  Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day, which will celebrate its 9th anniversary this year on June 5. Collette Torunyan sat down with her to learn more about her organization and its expansion.

The idea of starting a program like Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day all came to Barbara Paget, founder and chair, when she was on the treadmill more than 10 years ago watching NBC Today.

“Let me tell you I don’t remember a lot of things, but I remember this very distinctly. The Today show’s travel guru Peter Greenberg was on and said that he would not be speaking about travel deals but about a spa he recently went to in California. So many of their clients were being diagnosed with cancer that they had a complimentary spa day. It was that day that I pointed at the TV and knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

And in 2003, she made this a reality. Starting at a local spa in Highland Park, Illinois the event has grown to a nationwide affair with more than 500 salons and spas participating.

Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day is truly a unique cause for cancer patients and survivors. It offers complimentary services at salons and spas available for men, women, and children. “Cancer is expensive and I don’t believe in making patients pay for anything. This gives many people the opportunity to give back and brighten up someone’s spirit without paying,” says Paget.

After 3years of holding the event at one salon, Paget got in contact with haircare franchise Great Clips who were eager to hop on board, as well as beauty schools such as Pivot Point Academy.

“By having these franchise salons and beauty schools involved we’re able to target the most financially strapped patients and we want to make an effort to reach as many people as possible.”

From contacting the salons to constructing the website, Paget is a one-woman organization that is even getting attention from Congress, currently in the midst of trying to get a resolution passed to recognize the first Tuesday of June as Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day. With more and more salons participating everyday as Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day, June 5, 2012, fast approaches, Paget’s ultimate goal of having 12 million cancer patients aware of the event is quickly becoming a reality.