Tricoci University participates in Cancer Survivor Beauty & Support Day

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Thousands of people beat cancer every year in the U.S. Tricoci University of Beauty Culture celebrated those community members Tuesday by helping cancer patients and survivors get back on their feet.

"I think anything you can do to make someone feel better about themselves is wonderful," said Mary Key who was diagnosed with breast cancer almost one year ago. She was one of the lucky ones who were able to spot cancer early and have surgery before it got worse.

"Early detection is everything because mine was found at stage 0 and I never knew there was a stage 0," said Key.

Cancer takes a toll on the body, that's why Tricoci University students participate in the 15th annual Cancer Survivor Beauty and Support Day.

"We have asked any cancer survivors to come into our school and receive a free service of their choice, so they can come and get a haircut, get a hair color, a facial, if they want to do any nail services, a manicure or a pedicure," said Melissa Santillan, a Cosmetology Educator at Tricoci.

Chemotherapy and radiation can have many different side effects like dry skin and thinning hair.

"If somebody had cancer and they lost all their hair and it's kind of growing back, it can kind of be thinner than before they had cancer or it can be thicker, so they don't really know how to style it or how to manage it yet, so we are able to teach them," said Kristin Kilburn, a barber student at Tricoci.

Students at Tricoci understand the importance of making these patients and survivors look and feel good about themselves.

"When you build someone's confidence up, it's definitely going to make them feel better, make them go out, and not dwelling on what happened to them," said Santillan.

"I wish everyone the best that goes through this because it's not a fun thing," said Key.

Tricoci will be at another event on July 29 at the Rockford Rivets Stadium.