Think Pink: Meet Two Hometown Beauties Battling Breast Cancer

From left to right: Molly, one of our amazing Camellia artists; Meg Radde, one of our hometown beauties battling breast cancer; Vanessa Cooreman Smith, the former owner of Flourish Boutique who is now working with us on photo shoots and marketing consulting; Kim Burkey, our other hometown beauty conquering breast cancer; and Rebecca, the owner of Camellia Cosmetics.

By the 11th of October you’ve probably seen the pink themed displays at the grocery store, the pink ribbon pins out and about, and maybe even a special commercial or two. Somewhere deep in your subconscious you remember, Oh yes, October is breast cancer awareness month.

At Camellia, we wanted to do more than just a promotion that claimed to be about breast cancer awareness. We wanted to honor real, local women who have been on the front lines battling breast cancer. These are women that many of you know and care about. These are women who are actively impacting our community. They are beautiful inside and out. So last week, we set about giving them a little pampering and me-time. We invited them into our studio, enjoyed a little girl time, and pampered them with some of fall’s freshest looks.

So without further ado, we are so excited to introduce you to these two courageous hometown beauties:

Kim Burkey

Kim Burkey, beating breast cancer in 2016!

Earlier this year, Kim and her husband Tim were elated to find out they were expecting their third child, due November 30.  At a routine eight-week OB appointment, Kim mentioned to her nurse that she had found a lump on one of her breasts, even though it was probably nothing. At just 34, breast cancer was not top of mind. The nurse had the doctor examine the lump, and they decided to do an ultrasound right away, and then went on to recommend a biopsy. They were shocked to find out that in fact the lump was cancerous, and worse yet — a very aggressive form of cancer. Being pregnant brought up a lot of question about how to treat the cancer safely for mom and baby.

Shortly after meeting with her oncologist for the first time and creating a treatment plan that allowed for being pregnant, Kim went back to her OB for a routine appointment. When they used the Doppler to try to find the heartbeat, they could not hear anything. She was taken across the hallway for a more detailed ultrasound, but heartbreakingly again silence echoed across the room. Kim says she doesn’t remember a whole lot from there, other than the nurse asking her for her husband’s work phone number. Their sweet baby was gone, and left in the place of all the promise and excitement was the scary and looming cancer. How could they process all of this so quickly? How do you grieve when you have to gear up for the fight of your life?

With her husband by her side and with a strong faith, Kim carried on. She started a blog called Kimberly Beats Cancer. She underwent surgery, many rounds of chemo, lost her hair, battled through all the side effects of the medication, and somehow found her way through all the deep emotions of miscarriage and illness. Only a couple of weeks ago, Kim shared on her blog that the treatment seems to have done its work and her cancer appears to be dead! A follow-up surgery and pathology report will confirm this soon, but in the meantime Kim is relieved to have completed her chemotherapy and trying to find a new normal.

It takes real beauty to fight these kinds of battles — the kind of beauty that comes from within and then finds its way outward. If you know Kim, or are lucky enough to meet her, you would quickly agree that she’s that kind of radiant. Her eyes sparkle and her smile shines from within; cancer hasn’t dampened that at all.  It was an absolute joy to pamper her with a special make-up session and photo shoot.  To get Kimberly’s look, you will want to try our new pink hues in Camellia eye shadows as seen below!

Kim Burkey.

Owner, Rebecca Maalouf, working on Kim’s look.

As seen on Kim, left to right: Pink Cloud Eye Shadow by Camellia Cosmetics, $14 – A light wash of pink in a matte, smooth eye shadow. Desert Pink Eye Shadow by Camellia Cosmetics, $14 – This pink/nude creates a sophisticated, finished look.

Meg Radde

Meg Radde, Michiana hometown beauty & breast cancer survivor.

Many of you may know Meg from her role as an instructor at B. Present Studio. Indeed, health and taking care of herself have always been important to Meg. It came as a huge surprise then when she was diagnosed with HER2 hormone-driven cancer at just 29! Despite no family history of breast cancer and not carrying the infamous breast cancer gene, Meg was facing this dreaded disease and had no choice but to begin treatment. Treatment included seventeen rounds of chemo, a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, and a hysterectomy. That’s a lot to take on. During the heart of her treatment, Meg had to put teaching barre on hold. She lost her hair, and as you can imagine, she suffered from a variety of the physical and emotional side effects of both her cancer and the treatment.

She credits her commitment to health and well being though, as the foundation to her recovery. Through all the challenging days of chemo and other treatments, she found herself repeating the B. Present mantra of  “She believed she could and so she did.” Meg believed she could beat cancer, and so she did! Now a year later, Meg is cancer-free, back in the barre studio, and living life with a new appreciation and zeal.

Via social media, we have witnessed how many women have been encouraged by Meg’s journey.  At the photo shoot last week, it was touching to watch Meg and Kim meet for the first time and see the encouragement and hope Meg poured into Kim, who is just a little behind her in the journey. Meg wanted us to to encourage all of you too and shared the importance of taking care of your body, mind, and soul! She said the investment she had put into her health over the years really proved to be invaluable in getting her through chemo. You never know what your story holds down the road, physically or emotionally — so now is the time to invest in yourself and prepare for the future.

At the photo shoot Meg loved our new Cindy Lou Manizer from The Balm,  just  $24. It’s an all-in-one eye shadow, blush, and highlighter in a beautiful golden peach tone. All-in-one products like this make life on the go much easier! Also add our new Z Palette, which allows you to mix and match customized shadows and blush, etc.

Meg looking absolutely radiant!

Camellia artist Molly applying Meg’s fall look.

To get Meg’s look, use the following products (in clockwise order): Z Palette, $14-$20 – Organize your makeup like a pro with a customizable Z Palette. Cindy Lou Manizer from The Balm, $24 – An all-in-one eye shadow, blush, and highlighter in a beautiful golden peach tone. Mini Z Palette. Finally, Lash Domination by Bare Minerals, $19 – Get 10 lash benefits from just one super volumizing mascara.

Come see us Monday-Saturday from 10-7 and Sunday from 12-5.