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Hundreds of Local Cancer Patients Get Free Spa Day

There probably aren’t many of you who haven’t been affected by cancer. It’s an extremely difficult journey filled with tough treatments and a lot of uncertainty. But there’s a spa and wellness center in Toledo working to help people forget about cancer, at least for a few hours.

Cherished Friends of Ahava is program run through the Ahava Spa in downtown and the story of what they’re doing there should make you proud to call Toledo home.

The staff at the small salon and spa is having a big impact on hundreds of lives. Cherished Friends of Ahava really has been a brief oasis for people and they’re hoping to find even more people to help.

Behind the doors of downtown Toledo’s Ahava Spa is a brief respite for cancer patients. Katie Morgan-Lousky is the owner, “It’s my little corner of the world and I have this talent I know I can share.”

Cathy Smith is one of the hundreds of cancer patients who have found peace at the spa, “It’s the one day you don’t have to think about the what ifs. You can relax, smile, laugh, enjoy a day that’s all about you, not blood tests, treatments and procedures.”

Cathy was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2011. After a full hysterectomy and dozens of rounds of chemo, doctors found another mass, so she is back on chemo, “It’s a weird thing, your whole world changes. I went from working 16 hour days thinking how many meetings can I schedule in one day, to I think I’m okay to walk the dog today.”

Cathy is one of nearly a thousand cancer patients who’ve had a free spa day, everything from nails and a massage to a facial and make-up. It all started when owner Katie Morgan-Lousky read a book that inspired her through her church. She came up with the specific plan for the free spa day after a number of her clients were diagnosed with cancer, “When you set out to do good, amazing lessons come back to you, I have learned how to live my life better, I have been so inspired.”

Katie calls it a privilege to serve more than a hundred cancer patients every year, “You think you’re doing a kind thing, but it comes back to you ten-fold. They teach you how to live and to appreciate what you do have.”

All of the services are free, but the labor of love has paid big dividends for Katie and the others who work with the patients,”We had a lady with stage 4 rectal cancer. She is no longer with us, but she wrote me a note and said thank you for giving me my dignity back. That was huge, I loved that!”

They are hoping to offer the free spa day to more cancer patients. If you’d like to donate money to Cherished Friends of Ahava, if you’re interested in volunteering or if you are a cancer patient who would like to spend a day at the spa click on the blue links to the right. Or you can call 419-241-5877.

Original story at 13 ABC