Westmoreland Walks hosts spa day for women with breast cancer
Melissa Kelly keeps one thing in mind as she battles her breast cancer diagnosis — her kids.
The 47-year-old Derry Township resident was diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer for the second time late last year, after enduring a double mastectomy when she was first diagnosed in 2015.
“It’s been rough,” Kelly said. “It’s been a rough four years.”
But Saturday morning, she was able to put her feet up and her diagnosis out of her mind at the 17th annual Spa Serenity Day hosted by Westmoreland Walks, an organization that raises money for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, and hosts their annual Pink Ribbon Walk.
The day allows people who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer to be treated to massages, manicures and pedicures, art therapy, lunch and a wellness circle that allows the women to open up about their breast cancer stories.
“I love this atmosphere and how it’s going so far, and it always brings out emotions,” Kelly said. “It’s like a safe place to talk about it because everyone knows what you’re going through.”
Saturday morning, about 10 women arrived at the YWCA Westmoreland County in Greensburg for a day of pampering and making friends. Spread throughout the building, different rooms were dedicated to massages, while other women sat side-by-side to have their nails done.
According to the Susan G. Komen website, there will be about 268,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in the United States in 2019.
“This is so nice,” said Kim Margonari, 59, of Greensburg. “A friend at work, she came in and said, ‘Hey, you’re going to be getting a call, you’re going to be going to a spa day on Saturday.’ And I said, ‘What?’ And they did call and it was just so sweet of her to do that for me.”
Margonari was diagnosed in November 2017 after doctors found a one centimeter tumor, and is going through treatment that will last five years, she said.
Started in 2001, Westmoreland Walks also created The Pink Angel Fund for families experiencing hardships due to breast cancer. The fund is used to help with insurance co-pays, groceries and meals, rent and other needs.
The nonprofit organization also gives out scholarships to Westmoreland County high school seniors whose lives were touched by breast cancer.
So far, Westmoreland Walks has donated about $690,000 to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and awarded over $36,000 in scholarships.
“My cancer’s an aggressive type, so there’s always that chance. So I’ve always been nostalgic and see the beauty in simple things, but even more so now,” Kelly said. “Like every simple little thing — like the dandelion that’s ready to be blown for wishes, it is so beautiful to me; and a cool winter’s night with the stars and the sky and you can feel the cool air … like everything is just, wow.
”Don’t take it for granted.”
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .