Tweleve breast cancer survivors were honored Tuesday and their portraits by Ezell's Studios are featured on this year's Wall of Hope at Rockdale Medical Center's Women's Diagnostic Center; they are: Wendy Campbell, Cheryl Dreslin, Debbie Harris, Carolyn Hardy, Patsy Holmes, Mavine Hyde, Allision Kelley, Brenda Nichols, Peggy Rolwe, Debbe Schmidtt, Sharon Willis.
Claire Crawford, mural painter
Claire Crawford's new mural is bursting with femininity. The piece spans the walls of the new Kim's Closet Breast Cancer Boutique and fills the shop with a whimsical array of flowers. For Claire, the process of painting this mural was very organic and happened quite naturally. Driven by the idea that women battling breast cancer could visit the store and find themselves surrounded by beauty and femininity, which she feels are often under attack throughout the struggle. There's even a special place within the mural dedicated to Kim Atkins, who the shop and foundation are named after. A mother, and wife of deployed SSG Richard Crawford, Claire is pleased that her mural will be there to inspire other strong women.
Ryan Shadrix, painter
Ryan Shadrix cannot wait to unveil his masterpiece. While the 28 year old deems each of his paintings a masterpiece, this painting stands out because it has taken him months of hard work to complete. He is proud to show off a painting depicting picturesque scene showcases a beautiful vase of flowers in front of a window pane. Ryan dedicates himself to each and every painting he works on, and is particularly excited to have his work on display for Kim's Closet Cancer Boutique shoppers. Ryan has been involved with Rockdale Cares: Our Place, a program that provides developmentally challenged citizens with valuable working skills, and plays an active role on the Special Olympics swim team.
Rockdale's newest boutique helps cancer patients to look and feel lovely. Kim's Closet Breast Cancer Boutique proudly opens its doors Tuesday, October 21. This boutique specializes in styling women going through chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
"Doctors tend to focus on the clinical aspects of the disease. They don't talk about how it feels to lose your hair and eyebrows," said Benny Atkins, president of the Kimberly Chance Atkins Foundation. This boutique will focus on helping women feel and look beautiful in spite of their sickness.
The boutique carries an assortment of beauty items including wigs, scarves, hats, and make-up donated from the community. Clients can also receive a "gift of hope" kit which includes practical and encouraging items like a lap blanket to keep warm during chemotherapy treatments, a journal to write thoughts, cozy socks, and more to help them through their journey. Diana Travis of LaVie Salon and Spa will be providing wigs for the shop. She has also made herself available to teach classes on how to sanitize and coif wigs, as well as ways to apply make-up and style scarves.
The store will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. If client's schedules don't line up with store hours, the staff is more than willing to accommodate and make appointments. The store is staffed with volunteers, most of whom are Wall of Hope honorees and breast cancer survivors. The volunteers hope to offer love and encouragement to women walking the same road they have traveled, and to help them feel comfortable while they shop.
Make sure you make it out for the opening night celebration as talented artists Ryan Shadrix and Claire Crawford are recognized for their beautiful contributions to the shop. Participating artists worked diligently to create pieces that add to the soft, feminine aesthetics of the boutique. Rockdale Medical Center has opened its arms to the boutique and given them a prime location just behind the gift shop.
Founders and supporters of the Kimberley Chance Atkins foundation made the boutique possible. When Benny Atkins lost his wife to breast cancer at the incredibly young age of 32, he decided to fight back and help other women with early detection methods. The Kimberley Chance Atkins foundation strives to raise funds to pay for mammograms and screenings for those who cannot afford the tests on their own. Since they started, the foundation has provided six hundred mammograms and screenings for women in need. Through their partnership with Newton and Rockdale County Medical Centers and Health Departments, they have been able to reach out to women across the community. Their goal has always been to educate and support women. In addition to testing, the foundation visits schools and businesses to instruct women how to perform regular self-examinations that can be done at home.
If you're interested in learning more or getting involved with the foundation, check out their upcoming fundraiser on November 1. The event lasts from 10 a.m. through 1 p.m. and offers a cornhole tournament, a chili cook off, and a motorcycle poker ride where participants get a card at each stop and the rider with the best hand at the finish line wins. To get involved or donate to the Kim's Closet or the Kimberley Chance Atkins Foundation head to www.kimatkins.net