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Cancer patients get makeover from celebrity stylist

October 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Getting the right cut, color and look for Hollywood starlets is what celebrity stylist Jose Eber does, but on Monday, he was on a much more personal mission to help cancer patients at the City of Hope Medical Center.

"We're here to give them confidence. You can look great even during those difficult times," Eber said.

Laura Gallardo of West Covina discovered her cancer during her first mammogram at age 52. She's on her third round of chemo.

"You lose your hair, your skin dries out a lot," she said.

So to battle the physical changes of cancer and treatment, Gallardo and dozens of other patients are undergoing a different kind of therapy. Eber and his professional salon team and stylists start with the hair. Actress Jaclyn Smith donated the wigs from her collection.

"A picture with a frame looks better right? It's the same thing about a person. The hair frames the whole person," Eber said.

Just because you're a brunette doesn't mean you have to stay that way. The day is about having fun and making new choices because beauty experts say, living through cancer can be a beautiful transformation.

"You want to see the person. Once you put the wig on, you want to see the smile," Eber said.

The Glamour Project, a group dedicated to improving the lives of women going through hardship, is on hand to get the ladies ready for their close-up.

"There's no question that if you feel better about yourself, you've got a little more energy and feel better, that's for sure," said Dr. Joanne Mortimer of City of Hope Medical Center.

Alpine Terabramyan, 8, is undergoing treatment for lymphoma. She's overwhelmed by all the kindness and compassion. She wanted a Mohawk but ended up with a softer look.

Battling cancer can feel like long, dark journey, but Gallardo sees light at the end of the tunnel.

The prognosis for both Gallardo and Terabramyan looks very bright. They have months of chemotherapy ahead of them, but with their makeovers, both say they won't have to worry so much about how they look, and they have renewed confidence.


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