Meet April Harmon Daniels
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Cancer can be isolating but one local hairstylist is helping other women feel connected and supported during their journey because she’s been there, not once, but three times. Now, she is paying it forward by pampering survivors.
Once a year, during October, Turning Heads Salon opens its doors to honor those who have overcome cancer and those who are currently undergoing treatment. It’s owner April Harmon Daniels’ expression of gratitude.
“2002 was my first battle with breast cancer. 2015 was ovarian. And 2020 during the pandemic I found out shortly just before the shutdown, I had a sarcoma in my left leg. So, that was my third battle. And that was the hardest battle and I’m still fighting through it now,” said Harmon Daniels.
It’s been 20 years since April’s first diagnosis and she hasn’t stopped counting her blessings.
April: “I’m grateful to God that my daughter is 22, my son is 21, and when they were one and two, that was my first journey with cancer. And to still be here to see my kids. I have a husband who has been my best friend. My rock. My whole village has been good to me. The community has been good to me,” she recalled.
So, she’s taken that goodness and she’s giving it back by hosting a survivor’s soiree, so to speak.
A pampering party providing free hairstyles and a bite to eat to women of all ages and backgrounds with one thing in common.
“Mine is a rare cancer. It’s a digestive system cancer. And she’s doing something this time, focusing on all cancers. This journey is very different and difficult because she’s with me now. Instead of me being with her, she’s with me. Going through this journey with me,” said Tara Bynes-Jackson, who is undergoing cancer treatment.
April wants other women to know that they’re not alone. So, on this day she is giving these women, many of them strangers, a safe place to bond, laugh, and lean on one another. She says, she hopes to inspire them the way her client, Ms. Pauline Bailey, inspired her.
“I’m a 36-year cancer survivor. Three-time cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39,” said Bailey. “I went through radiation, chemo, and surgery. During that time the treatment was different back in the 80s. And now, I try to share my story with a lot of women and let them know, when you’re diagnosed with any type of cancer, it’s not a death sentence. You just have to be faithful because that’s what brought me through – my faith.”
“One of the things that I love about this event is sharing the testimony,” April said.
Through their testimonies, they’re finding strength, forming a sisterhood, and celebrating survival.
April: “I was prepared to go to a war that I was not prepared to win. But I’m winning it. Each day. And I just want to embrace other women and let them know just hold on to God’s unchanging hand. Just trust in Him and believe in Him that you can win,” beamed Harmon Daniels.
April says she was able to provide seven cancer survivors with free hairstyles. She hopes to serve even more women next year.