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‘Cutting For A Cure’ adds unique cause

April 30, 2011
By KIM LOCCISANO - Times Leader Staff Writer ( , Times Leader

Whether in need of a haircut or not, you are invited to stop at Hot Locks Hair Designers at 3776 Central Avenue in Shadyside on Saturday, May 7 anytime from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. to support their pre-Belmont County Relay For Life in-house fund-raising event: "Cutting For A Cure".

In an effort to focus on the local fund raiser, no regular appointments have been scheduled in the salon for that entire day.

Hair cuts in the salon for Saturday will be handled on a first come, first served basis, with no appointments being scheduled, and only walk-in customers receiving cuts.

Article Photos

Holding a pre-Relay for Life fund-raising event on May 7 are, left to right, Hot Locks Hair Designers salon owner and stylist Amy DeFelice, stylists: Shaila Kovas, Brittany Taylor, Deanna Merryman, and Lexie Hess. Not pictured is Lynsey Palian, stylist.

"One hundred percent of the proceeds of the annual event, 'Cutting For A Cure' will go to the Belmont County Relay For Life final total through Team Sue Sue," explained Team Captain Deanna Merryman.

A new aspect to the day's fun filled schedule is the unique art competition, "Bras For A Cause."

For a small donation the public will be able to cast ballots in a friendly competition with the winner being declared based on collecting the highest number of votes from ballots cast.

The artistic elements of the "Bras For A Cause" competition are meant to celebrate the individuality of each designer and in celebrating the fund raising effort benefitting the work and research of The American Cancer Society.

The inaugural cut-a-thon at the shop was held a year ago, and could not have been more personal for those associated with Hot Locks, as it was organized in loving memory of their late co-worker, Cindy O'Donnell, who lost her battle with breast cancer a few months earlier.

The cut-a-thon's theme this year is one of celebration: specifically, in celebration of the growing number of people being counted among the ranks of those who survive their battles with cancer.

"When we first started talking about what we would do for the fund raiser this year the idea dame up to celebrate victories of those who win their fight with cancer. We decided to ask clients who we knew were cancer survivors to sign the back of our t-shirts for the cut-a-thon. So, their original signatures became part of our shirts for this year's event," said DeFelice.

"We really wanted to celebrate their individual victories, so their signatures on the shirts were a way for anyone wearing one of the shirts to help celebrate each of their victories right along with them," reflected Merryman.

A prize of a $100 gift card from American Eagle will be awarded via a raffle drawing to be conducted between 4:30 and 5 p.m. on the day of the Cut-A-Thon. Entries can be purchased at the salon.

One of the cancer survivors whose signature will appear on the t-shirts for the cut-a-thon is 81-year old Enis Keane.

Her personal battle with cancer has been with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and began with a the devastating diagnosis in January of 1998.

"I've been in remission now for 13 years," she said of the matter recently.

She maintains strict adherence to a physician designed schedule of six month checkups, just to make sure no changes that might happen would go undetected.

"The diagnosis was a shock, because I had always been very healthy," she reflected.

Not long before she was diagnosed with cancer she had retired and was enjoying a self-paced generally relaxing life-style; one which should not have left her devoid of energy. A liver biopsy confirmed the diagnosis.

The value of patient education when it comes to diseases such as cancer she faced became quickly evident to Keane as soon as she was told of it, as she had only recently heard anything about the disease, and that was thanks to media attention directed at Jackie Kennedy's diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

"I had the same thing she did, but until I saw and heard coverage about her illness I had never even heard of the disease," recalled Keane.

"I should have been feeling great, but I was always tired and I was losing weight when I should not have been," she recalled. "It affected my liver, which is why some days I would get very sick and others days it would not be as bad."

Placed on a course of chemotherapy, Keane's body generally responded well to the treatment, but chemotherapy treatments are never pleasant.

She recalled having felt fortunate not to have had to face the debilitating nausea many others going through that treatment course do.

Looking back on the experience now she is reminded of just how helpful it can be to be to find a little humor in life's difficult moments: such as when she very quickly lost her hair thanks to the chemotherapy.

"I bought four different wigs, in four different styles. I figured if I had to deal with the hair loss I might as well have some fun!"

Team Sue Sue can be contacted for additional details about the upcoming event by calling Hot Locks Hair Designers at 740-696-HAIR (4247), or via email at

The Belmont County Relay For Life event will be held at Nelson Field in Bellaire, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, June 3 and ending at noon on Saturday, June 4.

The Annual Relay For Life of Buckeye will be held at a different location this year in the hope of preventing the difficulties that have developed for the project in recent years when serious weather hazards persisted, bring the event to a very premature end.

"Having the relay For Life of Buckeye event at the track in front of Buckeye Local High School will assure everyone's hard work for the overnight event will be fully enjoyed, as the event will be moved inside the school if needed," offered event co-chair Carol Webb.

Webb can be reached at 740-769-7395 or via email at

The American Cancer Society can be reached at either or by calling 1-800-227-2345.



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