GREENVILLE — Sharon Kerns, of Greenville, is a breast cancer survivor. She works at Oliver Floyd Funeral home. Breast Cancer Awareness month inspired Kerns to think of an idea to help survivors.
She reached out to her boss, Family Service Director and Owner of Oliver Floyd Funeral home Eric Fee. She told him that her friend going through treatment, received a gift of a spa treatment.
“When you go through that, at the end of your treatment, it is nice to be treated,” Kerns said. “A day at the spa is something special that makes you feel good.”
Kerns said she wants to do as much as possible for cancer survivors.
“I have a special place in my heart for them, since I walked the journey,” she said. “Anything I can do or urge others to do to give back is my mission now.”
Eric said he was happy to take Kerns’s suggestion, as he has two cancer survivors on staff, and his mom Barbara is a cancer survivor. He reached out to others in the community to join in the monthly gift of a spa day, complete with lunch and dinner. One Spa Day winner will be chosen each month to win: a free lunch at Montage, a day at The Natural Path (reflexology, massage, facial and personal yoga), and dinner at the Merchant House. The winner will also receive a goodie basket from Oliver Floyd Funeral Home.
“It is a way we can celebrate them getting through their treatment,” Eric said. “We thought it would be a nice local effort, and a way to bring awareness to the Cancer Association of Darke County and everything it offers. Cancer seems so prevalent around here, and people need to know there is help available and that people care.”
Part of The Natural Path experience includes a facial from Esthetician Danielle Bourne.
“The benefits of it are wonderful, as well as relaxing,” Bourne said.
Savana Shaltry is the yoga instructor. She specializes in working with people with afflictions or special limitations.
“People can practice yoga while they are getting their treatment done or when they are in remission,” she said. “It is good for your mind and body, and can be modified to suit anyone’s needs.”
The Natural Path Owner Sarah Royer said when Fee reached out to her, she was all in.
“So many people are impacted by cancer, and their families are impacted by cancer,” she said. “This is just something little we can do to help them to get through this process, or to help them to feel a little bit better. We are more than happy to help them to do that.”
Owner of Montage Aaron Cox said his sister had breast cancer and his grandfather died of cancer.
“I think everyone in the community has a personal story to tell about cancer,” he said. “And I know, first-hand, what my sister went through. Why not do something to make their day a little easier?”
Barbara Fee, board of directors member of the Cancer Association of Darke County and cancer survivor said when people find out they have cancer, it is very devastating to their mind and body.
“But with reflexology and everything the spa offers, it sort of lifts your spirits and makes you feel human again,” she said.
Kerns gives some hard line advice about prevention.
“Women need to make sure they stay on top of their yearly mammograms – that is very important,” she said. “My cancer was found, with a routine mammogram. And if you get a pain that doesn’t go away, get that checked. It is a journey that doesn’t have to end badly, if you stay on top of it. If I hadn’t had my faith, and support from family and friends, it would have been a different journey. With that kind of support, it is just easier, and it got me through.”
The first Spa Day winner drawing will take place November 31. Any type of cancer survivors must be nominated by a family member, through the Cancer Association of Darke County. Nomination forms are available at the Cancer Association of Darke County 1111 Sweitzer Street, Greenville, Ohio. For more information, call 937-548-9960.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.
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