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Paint the Town Pink: Survivors to be treated to makeovers

Three local breast cancer survivors will receive makeovers at this year’s Paint the Town Pink event on Thursday.

When asked how long she has been cancer-free, Tamara Fadel said, “I don’t consider myself to be cancer-free because the effects seem to be here to stay, so I’ll never be free of it, but I’ve been a survivor of it for six years.”

Fadel and two other cancer survivors have been selected for makeovers during the 9th annual Paint the Town Pink event, taking place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 22. inside the main building at the Nevada County Fairgrounds (see sidebar).

Fadel was diagnosed with infiltrating lobular breast cancer on Christmas Eve 2008, just three months after her ex-husband was diagnosed with terminal esophageal cancer. Her daughter, just 16 at the time, was devastated. But Fadel was determined to fight.



“I refused to be sick so that my daughter would not have to worry about me, as well as her father, who died nine months after my diagnosis,” Fadel said.

Treated locally at Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH), Fadel had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation over the course of about 10 months. Fadel says she is grateful for the nurses and physicians who were part of her care team for being attentive to her needs and supportive during the course of her treatments.




Nearly seven years after that diagnosis, Fadel acknowledges that as a survivor she’s part of a special group of people. And she’s been able to use the knowledge she gained to help family and friends through their own battles with cancer.

Now she gets to enjoy what has been called one of the best girls’ nights out in Nevada County — Paint the Town Pink, a celebration of life and hope that raises money for local breast cancer care.

According to Mary Anne Davis, event manager at The Union which sponsors Paint the Town Pink, the event has raised more than $168,000 over the last eight years for the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. This year’s funds are earmarked for expansion of breast navigation and therapy programs.

The cancer survivor makeovers are a new feature of this year’s event. Cosmetique Spa and Boutique will sponsor the makeovers, doing hair, makeup, and clothes for the three cancer survivors. The big reveal is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Event organizers hope to use the makeovers to not only boost the spirits of Fadel and the other chosen cancer survivors, but also to show all those women battling breast cancer that life can begin again.

“We just feel like every woman deserves to feel beautiful. Breast cancer survivors have been through a lot already, and we liked the idea of creating an opportunity to pamper them,” said Davis.

Fadel said that while she is nervous about going on stage, she is also excited about being a part of the first group of survivors selected for the makeover program.

In addition to the makeovers, Paint the Town Pink will have vendors, food and beverages, wine and beer tasting, entertainment and a silent auction. And while it is a fabulous night out for women, men are welcome and encouraged to attend as well.

Part of the entertainment will include the Haute Trash Fashion Show, featuring “recycled” fashions modeled by community members, including Stephanie Ortiz, Judy Hess, Kimberly Parker, Rita Stevens, Dr. Brian Evans, Dr. Stephen Waterbrook, Keri Brenner, Kelly Dokimos, Stephanie Kreiter, Debbie Plass and Diane Raymond.

The community throws their support behind this event in a variety of ways. Davis said that some provide business sponsorships or rent vendor booths and some donate silent auction items.

“Some people give year after year. Items just show up at The Union without being asked,” Davis said.

Fadel said that she was impressed to see the way this community supports not only cancer survivors, but other groups and individuals to get through whatever battle they’re fighting.

“I feel blessed to be a part of such a supportive community,” she said.

To purchase tickets or to learn more about Paint the Town Pink, visit http://www.theunion.com/pink.

All physicians providing care for patients at SNMH are members of the medical staff and are independent practitioners, not employees of the hospital.


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