Cindy Atkin's battle with breast cancer began in January 2013 when a routine mammogram discovered a mass on her breast. A biopsy found a malignant tumor and Atkins heard those dreaded words, "It's breast cancer."
Today, the 46-year-old single mother of two celebrates her remission after receiving her final radiation treatment, which she had taken daily. The treatment plan she chose was a vigorous routine of chemotherapy and radiation which estimated her risk of recurrence at 10 percent. Atkins is confident she will never hear those words again.
Like others who have had cancer, Atkins learned many profound lessons during her year and a half journey. But the one that grounded her faith the deepest is the support she received from her community. From meals prepared and delivered to help with her children, Atkins never had to ask for anything. "They just did it," she said.
Her battle is still ongoing, despite her recent remission, however, with expenses her insurance didn't cover. "I still have unpaid medical bills," Atkins explained. Living on a single income had been very difficult.
A group of friends, led by Jeanna Lampart, wanted to do something to help Atkins financially and collaborated with Ryann DiBenedetto, owner of Salon Halo, to organize a benefit.
DiBenedetto, who's upscale Spring Hill hair salon is known for breaking the mold on traditional styling and mimics famous salons in bigger metro cities, is big on charitable functions. And when Lampart made the suggestion, she jumped on the opportunity.
On Sunday, Salon Halo will host a cut-a-thon between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. For a minimum $20 donation, Salon Halo stylists as well as other local stylists will take as many clients as they can. One-hundred percent of the sales will go directly to Atkins and her family.
Those who are familiar with the quality and talent of Salon Halo would agree that Sunday is not only a great way to help a fellow community member but an opportunity to receive an amazing style at a fraction of their typical costs, a $25 to $42 value.
For the Salon, it's a way to give back to a community that helped them ground their business more than two years ago to the point of planning an expansion in the near future. And it allows them to help another who inspires survival and hope.
Salon Halo is located at 2157 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill. For more information about the Cut-A-Thon, call (352) 666-4256.
Email Hernando Today correspondent Kim Dame at firstname.lastname@example.org.