A Bay Ridge cancer treatment center that recently pivoted to meet the needs of patients during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continued its annual tradition of treating survivors to a stress-free day of pampering on Oct. 16.
The Dr. John Kehoe Breast Center — located on Third Avenue and 97th Street in Bay Ridge— specializes in caring for breast cancer patients from the first stages of their diagnosis. To celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. John Kehoe and his team invited a group of former patients back to the center to get their hair and makeup done, tell their stories, and toast to their futures.
This year, three former patients of Dr. Kehoe — Lisa Suarez, Silvana Cusimano, and Marilyn Taylor — were given the royal treatment.
For survivor Taylor, who also works for Dr. Kehoe, this year’s event was a special one.
“I’m a little nervous,” she admitted, adding that while her cancer battle is “30 years behind [her],” it’s important to keep breast cancer survivors and their families in mind during the month of October, and beyond. “It’s important, especially in a month like this, to honor survivors.”
For the hair and makeup artists, the Friday afternoon event was also touching.
“I’m very honored to be a part of such an amazing event,” said Christine Longo of Fairy Tale Faces. “These women are very inspiring and deserve as much pampering as they can get.”
For Alexa Ianniello, owner of the Hair Boutique in Freehold, New Jersey, her time at Dr. Kehoe’s office felt personal.
“I had an aunt who passed away from ovarian cancer,” she explained, “so, to me, this event is all about women empowering women — and it means a lot to me to get to be here.”
After their pampering, the ladies were treated to a smorgasbord of eats from local restaurants like Kettle Black, Paneantico, Bean Post and M&M Deli, Vesuvio’s and Renato’s Catering, as well as sweet treats from Sal’s Bakery and Cookies by Aunt Chris.
Keeping with the times — and state regulations — the women were also given breast cancer survivor face masks courtesy of Let’s Do This Stitches and custom t-shirts by Deanna Jean Homemade.
The center’s namesake doctor said this year’s tribute was especially touching, given the obstacles staff, patients and the rest of the country have had to overcome amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“In a time like this, I feel it is still important to recognize our survivors and all they have been through,” said Dr. Kehoe. “Hats off to them.”