Concerto Salon and Spa on Cinema Drive in Valencia is having a “Cut-T-Thon” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, November 14 with all the proceeds going to benefit PanCan, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Haircuts and blowouts are a minimum of $25 and eyebrow waxing is available for a minimum $10 donation. A holiday boutique will be held at the salon to help raise additional funds, so you can do your holiday shopping and get a makeover, helping others at the same time.
Sabina Fetter is a stylist at Concerto. She has a deep personal reason for doing this. Her mother battled pancreatic cancer for the last two years and died last Saturday.
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“I know that she liked the fact that I’ve been doing this,” Fetter said. “I’m not going to stop just because she passes away. Nothing against the other cancers, but the survivability rate on breast cancer, colon and prostate cancer is so much higher and they have so much more funding. Pancreatic cancer has the least amount of funding and there has to be some sort of light shown on it.”
The recent deaths of public figures have briefly illuminated the devastation wreaked by pancreatic cancer, but Fetter doesn’t understand why it takes a celebrity’s passing to raise awareness.
“Patrick Swayze’s death helped, but why does a celebrity have to die to put a face on it? Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer, Michael Landon had it, Fred Gwynne from ‘The Munsters’ had it, and that didn’t put a face on it.”
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer mirror those of everyday maladies and are largely benign – a stomach ache, acid reflux, pain radiating to the back, all things that could be innocent taken alone.
“You usually don’t see it until you jaundice, because where the pancreas is located, when you get a tumor there, it blocks the bile ducts and the bilirubin spills into the body and you turn yellow.”
Fetter’s mother tried chemotherapy and a special “Whipple procedure” that resulted in the removal of parts of her pancreas, stomach, small intestine and gall bladder, but the cancer had already metastasized into her lungs. In May, she went on a safari and upon her return, began hospice care.
“At 43, it’s kind of hard to think that I’m losing my mother, because it’s kind of young, but (the fundraiser) it’s a way to keep her alive and because I know there’s something greater out there,” she said. “Not that she’s dying in vain, it puts it in focus, paying it forward.”
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death due to cancer in the United States and is the most lethal cancer, with a five-year survival rate of only five percent.
This year, more than 42,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with the disease and more than 35,000 will die from it.
Despite the statistics, pancreatic cancer is the most under-funded among leading cancer killers with less than two percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual research budget.
Concerto Salon is located at 23340 Cinema Drive #3 Valencia. For details on the event and how you can participate, call (661) 287-3700. For information on PanCAN, click here .