This is what happened to me on Friday....
Cancer survivor surprised with makeover
Over $600 donated to do makeover
Updated: Saturday, 17 Jul 2010, 3:17 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 16 Jul 2010, 9:55 PM EDT
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A woman shopping for a wedding present got a gift of her own Friday afternoon. 34-year-old cancer survivor Melissa Culver-Pekny was at the Tippecanoe Mall when family and friends surprised her with a makeover.
Culver-Pekny was in shock when friends and family rushed toward her at J.C. Penny, surprising her with a makeover. The makeover was courtesy of Hello Gorgeous! , a nonprofit organization that provides free makeovers for women with cancer. Needless to say, Culver-Pekny was speechless.
"Unbelievable. After this whole last year. It's unbelievable," she said after the surprise.
Culver-Pekny was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer just over a year ago and, as it is for all cancer patients, hasn't been an easy road.
"I've had 10 rounds of chemotherapy and then I had my surgery in January and then radiation," she said.
Now friends and family wanted her to be treated like a queen. The lucky lady was whisked away to this Hello Gorgeous! mobile day-spa right outside the mall to get pampered and made over.
"Facial, that was amazing! They did my make-up and taught me how to do my make-up. Barnyard cuts in Chalmers did my hair. They colored it and cut it right there on the bus," Culver-Pekny said, explaining some of pampering she received.
Friends and family gathered outside the RV, waiting to see the makeover. Culver-Pekny called them her support system.
"Helping me through the fears and the sadness and losing my hair and the sickness and everything," Culver-Pekny said, describing her families and friends.
The big moment arrived and as the doors of the RV opened, the crowd yelled 'hello gorgeous!'.
"Gorgeous! I feel absolutely gorgeous!" Culver-Pekny said after her makeover.
"This gives her an extra lift to know that someone cares enough to help her in this year of hardships," Culver-Pekny's mom Donella Carter said after seeing her daughter for the first time after the makeover.
Hello Gorgeous! founder Kim Becker and creative director Trisha Greenlee usually do the makeovers in South Bend, but are on a six week road trip doing makeovers for cancer survivors across the state.
"To make it to where they might even forget that they have cancer for a few hours. They are so empowering. They are just so inspiring," Greenlee explained.
Over $600 worth of clothing, jewelry, make-up and time was donated for the makeover. Culver-Pekny also received a free dinner with all her friends and family afterward her makeover.