Maria McCool founded the SHiNE Program at Penn Medicine in 1998 as a way to help women going through chemo experience a day of pampering. Over the past 25 years, the nonprofit organization has grown to offer everything from appointment transportation and wig selection to massage therapy and fitness memberships to the people of Chester County, PA.
Every October, Calista donates a portion of its yearly profits to the program while Maria continues to offer her hairstyling services to SHiNE patients. This year, Calista Salon held a sample sale and raised thousands of dollars to help SHiNE continue its mission.
Maria On SHiNE
“The SHINE event held for the PENN Cancer Center is stronger than ever. We raise hundreds of thousands yearly to support women through their time of treatment. The money we raise supports our wig program, so patients get free customized wigs cut and styled for them. The money also provides transportation to treatments when patients don’t have rides, as well as massages, acupuncture, and nurse navigators, our unsung heroes that are the true cheerleaders for the patient’s needs. They help the patients navigate their way through this uncharted terrain with ongoing support.”
Excerpt from Maria’s Book, "Becoming BeautyBrave"
“I recently fitted a twenty-year client of Calista, Stephie, for her wig. While I was cutting it, she was sharing with me how she was feeling and just how upset she was to lose her hair. Her whole life she was known for her gorgeous hair. When we discussed the loss of her hair, even more than the illness itself, the tears flowed. I continued to shape and cut the wig to look just like her hair as she continued to share more. As the wig started to take shape, her entire demeanor began to change. Her bubbly personality returned. Her lively sense of humor was back, and she was joking with everyone coming over to my station to see how her wig looked. She was her old self again, literally in a matter of a haircut. She came back the next day to tell us that her daughter came to see her that night because she knew she was getting her wig. She said her daughter came into her house and was talking to her for about fifteen minutes and then said to her, “Mom, I thought you were going for your wig today?” You can only imagine how she felt when her own daughter thought the hair on her head was the gorgeous hair she always had. Stephie said it released something in her that she didn’t even know was still there.”
DonationsSHiNE provides patients with state-of-the-art wigs to ease their chemotherapy journeys. By donating to SHiNE, you can offer the gift of confidence to program participants and specify that your donation go to providing a patient with a wig! Learn more about donating here.