Lifestyle & Human Interest

Heartwarming: Woman Helps Cancer Patients Feel Beautiful by Giving Free Eyelash Extensions


Cancer inflicts such ignominies on the human body. It’s one thing for a disease to be horribly deadly, but when the treatment for that horrible disease is just as bad, sometimes it seems like there’s no winning.

Thankfully, one South Carolina woman is doing her part to help cancer patients with an oft-neglected part of their looks: their eyelashes.

According to WPDE, Shontea Taylor of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has come up with an ingenious business plan. She runs a business specializing entirely in eyelash extensions.

However, this isn’t a studio that requires clients to visit some centralized location. Rather, it’s located in a van, and it travels to you.

That’s great for ordinary clients. But Taylor adds a special service for those struggling with cancer.

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Not only does she bring her services to them, but she gives them new eyelashes for free. Believe it or not, it’s a much-needed kindness.

Verywell Health reports, “Hair loss (alopecia) is a ​common side effect of chemotherapy and isn’t just limited to the hair on your head. It is not uncommon to experience hair loss on one’s legs, arms, pubic hair, eyebrows, and, yes, even the eyelashes.”

The problem is that, like most side effects of cancer treatment, people don’t always react in the same way. Some patients won’t experience any eyelash loss.

Others will find that they fall out entirely. Still others experience a particularly cruel result.

“Even more bothersome is the fact that eyelashes often do not fall out until well after chemotherapy has been completed,” Verywell Health stated. “Moreover, some will experience the thinning or shortening of lashes rather than a complete loss, while others will go through recurring cycles of loss and regrowth.”

Taylor understands the need to help those who find themselves struggling. She told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, that her desire to help others comes from personal experience.

“I have a daughter with Down syndrome,” she said. “So in 2016, I decided to move to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to give her a better chance at life basically.” The school in the new neighborhood was a much better fit for her daughter.

Taylor had lots of experience running her own businesses, having helmed day spas, bars and even a bail-bond business. That was when the idea of a mobile lash studio popped into her head.

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“One day, I was at a car lot, and I saw a van. I went inside and had seen my vision,” she said.

“I prayed on that thing for almost two weeks, and then I went back, put the down payment and took it straight to my dad’s house, who then turned a plain van into a lash studio.”

That was the first part of her formula, and the second was a cancer survivor who inspired Taylor to reach out to those struggling with the disease.

Since then, Taylor volunteers her lash services two days of the week, seeing five cancer survivors free of charger per day. “The look on my gals’ faces afterwards is beyond AMAZING!” she said.

“It makes me feels so good inside to be able to take someone’s mind off of what’s bothering them for a second or two. Right then, I know I’ve made a difference.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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