AKRON, Ohio — There’s a new beauty salon in town, but it happens to be set up in a unique location.
Volunteers have opened a free beauty salon for patients and parents at Akron Children’s Hospital.
“The nurses actually volunteered me,” said Stephanie Lively, “[They] said I needed some pampering.”
Lively was supposed to spend just four days at Akron Children’s Hospital. She’s caring for her 14-year-old niece Azlyn who went in for emergency surgery for a spinal fusion. But the four days turned into 37 days and a total of eight surgeries.
Since the beginning, Lively has been by Azlyn’s side.
“She makes me strong,” said Lively. “If she can be strong, I can be.”
It’s the reason the nursing staff encouraged Lively to take a break after an unexpected month at the hospital.
The “Jody Smith Salon,” named in memory of a fundraiser with the hospital, is still in its early stages as a new program put together by the efforts of 5-year volunteer Mark Geschke.
“We saw a need to allow [parents] to come in and get a little pampering,” said Geshke. “And feel good about themselves.”
Michelle Lumadue, an independent and licensed cosmetologist, joined the team as a volunteer. The program also provides hand and arm massages, and manicures.
“Having to be strong for [Azlyn] all the time, and [the volunteers] let me have a moment,” said Lively as she fought through her tears. “I appreciate it.”
The program is seeking additional independent licensed hair stylists who are interested in volunteering. Those who are interested are asked to call 330-543-2201.