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“I've wanted to contact you and thank you for starting Cut Out Cancer last year.I had read about your program after having my double mastectomy December 2013 but wasn't ready to go to the salon in early winter.  I went through chemo from January to March and still wasn't ready.  Then I had my reconstruction surgery in July and had my first appointment at Cut Out Cancer in September.  I ran in and ran out.  I wasn't ready to start talking to others.Then in October, November and December I stayed to talk and found an incredible bond and support from other women, from the women providing services and most of all, from all of you.I want you to know how special my Mondays are at the Salon.  I've found support, caring and a special group of women. Thank you so very much and please share this with you ladies who performed a wonderful mitzvah and I so appreciate it. May we all be blessed with good health and much happiness this year and for so many more years to come. Be well and again thanks so much"
~Participant who wishes to remain anonymous

 “I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to be part of this beautiful program. It just fills my heart to make these courageous ladies feel special and pampered. Yesterday was really great, as two of the girls (first timers) I saw were so apprehensive about even being there. They were nervous and felt out of sorts. After I was done with them, we went and got something to drink together, looked through and picked out some scarves, had a few laughs and got them situated at the craft table to make something. Within a few minutes, they were engaging amongst each other and making new friends. I'm not sure which part of being a part of this I like better!! It is just.... Wonderful. So, again, I thank you.”
~Volunteer - Maria Benson owner of Body & Sole Day Spa in West Hartford 

“What a wonderful event and amazing day at the Milano. Thank you to all those kind, caring and generous people who provided their time, services and energy. It was relaxing, restorative and very much appreciated.
All The Best,”
Participant - Rita 

A beautiful story that was shared with us...
It was her first time to a Cut Out Cancer at Milano and she was visibly upset. We later found out that she had never told anyone other than her husband and daughter that she had been diagnosed with cancer. Standing at the front door of Milano on the day when Cut Out Cancer and Milano offer free services to people undergoing cancer treatment, she faced the fact that more people would know she had cancer once she walked through those doors.  
When she entered, she was greeted by one of the organization’s compassionate staff members who wrapped an arm around her offered her food, coffee or a cold drink and escorted her to a room for her pedicure. When she came out, she wasn’t crying any more, but you could tell she was still upset. Our local author sat with her for quite some time and talked to her about being a two time ovarian cancer survivor and how all of the people who come to Milano each month find comfort and strength in each other’s stories and the comrade they have built.  
She had arrived right at 10:00am that morning and didn’t leave until 1:30 (her appointment was over at 10:45am). She spent all of the time talking with others, making jewelry, sharing her story and listening to others. As she was leaving the receptionist gave her a bouquet of flowers in a vase (that was donated by a local event planner), she promised to bring the vase back next month filled with flowers….and she did….

"I don't think I could find the right words to express how happy I was today. Thank you for what you do to help us feel beautiful and for providing a place where we could all just hang out and have fun and not think about the battle we are going through. Thank you for letting me hang out until closing and for making me feel so loved. Especially today, on my birthday. Hugs!"
~Sheila Ortiz 

"A shout out to a business making a difference.
MILANO Salon and Day Spa - 41 Jerome Ave – Bloomfield
Today I experienced something that I had no words for. While taking a friend to cancer treatments I read a flyer about Milano Salon and Day Spa setting aside one day per month to pamper cancer fighters. I did not expect him to have this experience having a haircut. We were greeted like long lost friends. Coats were taken; he was shown a food and beverage area, crafting area, photographer, and countless cheery faces. They touched his arm, leaned in to speak to him and made him feel they were comfortable with his disease. I stood there speechless as I took in the overwhelming power that I felt in that room. There were no tears, and maybe for just that short time, an opportunity to re-energize in a safe spot with others in a similar situation. It looked more like a party than the fight to get back to normal. These amazing people donate all salon services to cancer fighters. They will not even take a tip. There were the occasional quiet conversations, but for the most part small groups gathered and talked about everything. I overhead he was the seventh new person they had met today and that they did not close until the last person was made to feel comfortable. The spa was gaily decorated with ALL the appropriate seasonal decorations and countless nutcrackers stood guard over this army of crusaders. A restaurant provides light lunch and an unknown Good Samaritan donated a large box of pastry. Camaraderie was in every corner of this building. With a great haircut behind him, his belly full and his spirit reignited (and somehow me more relaxed and lighter feeling) we said goodbye. As we got into the car, this rather shy man suggested that we should make an appointment and go back. This is not a seasonal service, but one given month after month, year after year and we wish to thank Milano Salon and Day Spa, their employees, and Cut Out Cancer for their wonderful service. Wishing all a Happy Holiday Season."

~Rhonda Slattery, who brought her brother in law into COC for the first time for a haircut.  

A heart warming Cut Out Cancer Mystery
It started about 6 months ago, on the second Monday of the month, Dine In CT walked into Milano with a beautiful tray of goodies from the Italian Bakery in Bloomfield. They dropped off the tray and quickly ran out the door. Who sent us this beautiful tray? I called the Italian Bakery…they instructed me to call Dine In, I called Dine In and they told me that the donor wishes to remain anonymous and that we should expect a monthly delivery for the next 6 months. We were all so touched and at a loss for words, we needed to find a way to thank our donor. We posted a thank you on our Facebook page and wrote a note and gave it to the Dine In delivery person to deliver to our donor. Last month, we received a sad call from Dine In telling us that our donor had passed away. They gave us her name and we wrote a thank you and sympathy note to her husband. We received a very touching note back; he wrote:
“his wife wished to be anonymous because she sought no recognition or thanks. When Sergio said, “come in” that tough day, she felt accepted in a way that was extraordinary. The time at Milano was huge – everyone was so kind and genuine. I cannot tell you how much it lifted her spirits. My last photos of her- (she disliked the camera)- show how beautifully you cut and styled her hair. We went to the Golden Lamb Buttery the next day on what turned out to be our last out- of- house date. The memory of kindness shown to my wife is deeply sustaining amidst my grief”
And that could be a very touching and sad yet beautiful end to our story, but it is not…
Yesterday Dine In delivered a beautiful box of cupcakes from a different bakery. I ran after the delivery person asking who is this from? "It is anonymous", he replied,. “But is it from the same person that we have been receiving goodies before?", I asked. “It is anonymous”, he replied and left quickly.
A few hours later we received a call from Mike Capoluto, manager and Joe Marinello, the owner of Dine In CT. They were so touched by our anonymous donor they wish to continue the deliveries for our upcoming Mondays in honor and memory of our anonymous donor.


Pay it Forward
This past Monday, a woman walked into Milano’s Day Spa for her 2nd visit to Cut Out Cancer day. She shared a story that made us all smile. After leaving the salon last month feeling beautiful, inspired and grateful, she wanted to do something for someone else.When she walked into a fast food restaurant, she told the cashier that she would like to pay for the meal the woman behind her was ordering. “I felt so great that I wanted to make somebody else feel great too!” The woman behind her was surprised and very touched.