Three-time cancer survivor gives hairstyles to other survivors

By Alyssa Jackson

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 11:20 PM EDT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A three-time cancer survivor opened her salon to other survivors for the 12th time.

That hairstylist to client relationship is something special.

Hair always brings women together, but the ladies sitting in this chair have something else in common...something they would rather not have.

“11 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Judy Wilhite-Mincey.

“Liver cancer,” said Tara Bynes-Jackson.

“2002 was my first battle. It was breast cancer. 2013 was my second, ovarian and 2020 was my third battle...bone cancer. That’s my toughest one,” said April Daniels.

On the outside, you see three ladies who seem fine. They laugh and joke...

“If I sit down too long, I get stiff and have to do the lil’ stanky leg.”

But they fight every day.

“I can see my daddy here with me telling me the same thing ‘be strong girl, you a strong little girl.’ I could hear my daddy telling me I’m a strong little girl.”

For April Daniels, it’s been 20 years - three diagnoses and losing her six-year-old daughter to her own fight.

“I had to go to war.”

A salon of women, cancer survivors, fighters on the same battlefield.

“36 treatments...radiation treatments,” said Wilhite-Mincey.

Between the three of them, they’ve lost two daughters and a set of parents.

“I felt good to cry. I felt good to yell knowing they know how I felt. They know how I feel,” said Bynes-Jackson.

So this space the salon’s owner April Daniels gives them every year. It’s shut down to everyone else but them.

“And it goes back to April...April gave back.”

Knowing there are other women who need to hear this.

Daniels said: “The only person was God. I had to dig down deep, deep.”

Rejecting what the outcome could have been...

“Just the thought of leaving my kids behind so young, but God had another plan,” said Daniels.

And not letting cancer have the final say.

“I have to say ok cancer, you gotta sit down for a minute,” said Bynes-Jackson.

So every woman who might think it does...they’ll know after sitting in April’s chair.

“We are survivors. We are surviving this.”

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