Jen was—and still is—a career day-maker of the highest order. As part of her teaching career, she participated in charitable events up to four times a month and taught our future professionals how to execute exemplary salon services. All told, when cancer struck, she had already devoted five years to one pro-beauty company, teaching passionate students how to become capable stylists. She believed in her mission and they—the students—believed in her. She was vibrant, financially capable and, with youthful exuberance, felt excited about all the great things that life had in store for her.
Jen’s world tilted on its axis just three weeks after she transferred from Sacramento to Los Angeles, when she discovered a lump in her right breast. New to the sprawling City of Angels, she received her breast cancer diagnosis alone and began the battle for her life without the support of her longtime friends and family, who lived hundreds of miles away. After a year of ineffective treatments and a double-mastectomy, Jen was told that she needed to go to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which had physicians on staff who specialized in her type of cancer. Out of funds and hope, Jen whispered on Facebook: I guess I need a miracle. We contacted Jen right away to let her know that her quiet prayer had been answered.
HOT editors knew they had to get Jen to Houston; arrange and pay for hotel accommodations; make sure that her food and incidental expenses were covered; and send her sister Kerry with her so that she would never be alone again for such an important visit.
With many people helping, we formed a beauty bucket brigade to get both ladies to Houston, where her new physician immediately ran a battery of tests and prescribed the proper chemotherapy. After seven days and with her first chemo treatment behind her, Jen and her sister returned to Los Angeles feeling something that they hadn’t felt in a very long time: hope.
As I’m writing this article, we’re still fighting for Jen’s life. MD Anderson, which is cooperating with UCLA, has arranged for her to alternate her chemo treatments—done at three week intervals— between Houston and Los Angeles, which means she and a companion must fly to Texas every six weeks for treatment, have tests to track her progress and even possible surgery. How can you help make this possible? Please share your love by donating to Jen’s account. A few generous dollars from each of you could mean the difference between saving and losing a fellow beauty professional. http://jenniferpearson.chipin.com/cancer-treatment
Written by Jeryl Spear, Editor-in-Chief, HOT Magazine