'Pink streaks' fundraising party is Saturday

A local hair salon has been going all pink in order to raise money for the Susan G. Komen fund. For the past three weeks, employees of the REnue Hair Salon and Day Spa, 510 W. Savidge St. in Spring Lake, have been adding pink streaks to customers' hair, selling pink ribbons and collecting money in "Chad's jar' - enough so that owner Chad McConnell began sporting a full head of pink hair on Thursday. The fundraising culminates with a Viva La Pink Party set for 6-9 p.m. Saturday at the salon. The public is invited.
Becky Vargo
Oct 7, 2011

The idea for the party was the brainchild of manager Abbey Harwood and her client and friend, Julie Daudelin, who just finished chemotherapy for breast cancer.

The event celebrates the salon’s fourth anniversary, and was designed to raise breast cancer awareness and collect money to advance research, education, screening and treatment.

“REnue is going pink for the breast party ever,” reads a flyer on the door of the business.

All of the money collected is being donated to the fund through Daudelin — who will turn it in as part of a 5K fundraising run being held in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 15.

Daudelin, 46, of Spring Lake, a pilot for American Airlines, said the company’s departments are having a competition to see who can raise the most money. Since she is part of the flight department, Daudelin and her husband, Tim — who is also a pilot — chose to participate in the event in Dallas, the location of the airline’s headquarters.

The mother of three — ages 20, 7 and 4 — competed in her first triathlon in 2010. But she said she hasn’t been able to run since before she started chemotherapy about six months ago. This is the first week she has felt well enough to start training, she said.

“It will be kind of a walk-jog kind of thing,” Daudelin said of her Oct. 15 participation.

Daudelin was alerted to a problem when she found a lump on her breast in January. A lumpectomy was done on Feb. 9. On Valentine’s Day, Daudelin found out she had triple-negative breast cancer, bordering on stage 3.

“It turned out to be breast cancer — a particularly awful kind of breast cancer,” she said. “It’s very aggressive, very fast growing. My odds of it coming back are 49 percent in two years.”

It’s so aggressive, Daudelin said her doctor told her it wouldn’t have even shown up on tests six months earlier.

Daudelin said she was in shock for a week after being dealt the news. In the meantime, her husband was busy researching everything he could about the cancer.

“I didn’t want to acknowledge it,” she added.

“It’s been a steep learning curve for us,” Tim said. “What you immediately do is try to find the answers — what’s the easiest pass from sick to well.”

Daudelin had a double mastectomy in March and started chemotherapy in April.

“Chemo is absolutely awful,” she said. “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, although it does work.”

She is having reconstructive surgery in early November.

A woman with a generally positive attitude, Daudelin said she is currently in a “wait-and-see” mode.

Sporting one of the colorful bandanas she has for almost every outfit, Daudelin said: “I live for today. I try not to think about it that much, but I am a realist.”

Her young children know that she is sick.

“They laugh at my bald head,” Daudelin said. “They are not really aware.”

Her 20-year-old daughter, Ashley Harvey, has been helping get her through the treatments.

“She took me to chemo almost every week until she went back to school,” Daudelin said.

Harvey was working full-time at Family Video in Grand Haven during the summer, but always made sure she had the day off when it was time to go with her mom.

Friends and family have been able to keep up with Daudelin’s progress through a blog she created for people “who didn’t want to ask me questions,” she said.

In her blog, Daudelin also gives a link to the site where people can make a donation in her name (www.Komen-Dallas/race-for-the-cu...).

“I’m doing all I can to help find a cure so no one else has to go through this,” she wrote. “I donated my lump to the VanAndel research center and I have now signed up for a clinical study. Let’s beat this so nobody else we know has to go through this.”

Daudelin plans to be at the Viva La Pink Party on Saturday.

The casual event will include refreshments, a silent auction for salon services and raffles.

Customers still have an opportunity until 5 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to get pink streaks in their hair. The cost is $5 for a temporary streak (lasts one day) or $20 for a semi-permanent streak that will wash out in a few weeks. All proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen fund.

Call 844-4433 for an appointment.

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