Breast cancer survivors get pampered at Pinehurst

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Breast cancer survivors Melissa Hedrick and Jane Erwin relax by the pool Monday during Pinehurst Resort’s Pink in Pinehurst Day. The women enjoyed free massages as part of the event, which celebrates survivors and promotes awareness.

It’s been a tough year for Melissa Hedrick, but you couldn’t tell it Monday.

Nope, Monday was all about bliss.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer last Christmas Eve, Hedrick has undergone surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Those months of grueling treatment made her cancer free by Labor Day, but as a mother of two she hasn’t had much time to celebrate. Monday’s outing to The Spa at Pinehurst gave her a chance to do just that.

After an hour-long massage, Hedrick threw on a cozy bathrobe and lounged poolside with newfound friend Jane Erwin.

“This is so relaxing,” said Hedrick, who lives in Chester, S.C.

“Everybody in here has survived, they deserve to be pampered.” -Jane Erwin

The women have a common bond, both are breast cancer survivors. Monday was made for them. It marked the fifth time Pinehurst Resort has hosted Pink in Pinehurst Day, an event that celebrates breast cancer survivors and promotes awareness about the disease.

During the event, women were offered either a free massage or facial. This year, they also were given the chance to have their nails painted pink.

“This is such a wonderful idea,” said Erwin, who lives in Charlotte. “Everybody in here has survived, they deserve to be pampered.”

Mary Berry, the spa sales manager, said the event is a highlight for both the participants and her staff. About 150 breast cancer survivors and their friends attended this year.

“We enjoy making this a special day for them,” Berry said.

“It’s lovely to be here today knowing it’s all behind me.” -Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen of Pembroke was ready for a spa day after wrapping up multiple surgeries and treatments.

Allen underwent a bilateral mastectomy, removal of both breasts, after discovering a lump in the shower last year.

“I’m a single mother, so it was difficult,” she said. “It’s lovely to be here today knowing it’s all behind me.”

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Breast cancer survivors and friends who attended Pink in Pinehurst on Monday were asked to write a word or short message on a stone and place it in one of the five vessels hand crafted by local artists Monica Staples.

After wrapping up their spa treatments, the women were invited to the lobby to write a meaningful word or phrase on a rock which they then placed inside one of five vessels created by local artist Monica Staples.

Staples used a variety of materials such as wood, leather and feathers to make the vessels. Each material symbolized different traits displayed by cancer patients.

The wood, for example, was strength. Staples burned the inside of that vessel, creating a unique texture.

“Like cancer patients, it’s still strong, it just has some scarring,” she said.

Staples has a personal connection with cancer. Her younger brother survived cancer as a child and both her stepmother and grandmother have had breast cancer.

“I decided to feed off those memories, things I saw them go through and feelings I had, in order to demonstrate different aspects of the human experience in moments of change.”

The artwork will be on display in the spa lobby for the next year.

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