A new North Kildonan hair salon is planning to make a huge improvement in the lives of local children.
Evoluir Hair Salon, located at 1413 Henderson Hwy., opened on Dec. 3, but is getting around to holding its official grand opening with an all-day cut-a-thon in support of The Dream Factory on April 6.
Salon owner Marina Melo-Cabral said The Dream Factory, formerly known as The Rainbow Society, played a major role in her brother John’s life. John was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that affects approximately one in every 50,000 teenagers according to the Ewings Cancer Foundation of Canada, when he was 15. John fought valiantly for a year, and with "extreme chemo and radiation" battled the disease into remission. When he was approaching his five-year cancer-free anniversary, he was diagnosed once again and died Jan. 10, 2009 at the age of 22.
"It came back, and vicious," Melo-Cabral said.
Melo-Cabral said her brother’s wish was fairly simple — a computer, scanner, and digital camcorder.
"He was very computer-oriented, which helped him go through a lot of the pain and kept him busy," Melo-Cabral said, noting John used the computer for World of Warcraft and the camcorder to record himself singing and playing guitar in his screamo band, WearYourWounds. "He was brilliant on (the computer). He could do anything you needed him to do."
Melo-Cabral also recalled John’s love for animals — he had a cat, Schmoo, even though he suffered from allergies. As well, she said he had hoped to go on to help children as an oncologist, and she hopes to help that dream live on through the fundraiser. Melo-Cabral doesn’t have an exact fundraising goal she hopes to achieve, but noted if the event doesn’t raise enough to fund one child’s wish, the salon will make up the difference to make the dream a reality.
As well, children supported by The Dream Factory will be in attendance and will receive a VIP experience at the event.
"We’re going to have chips and pop and that kind of thing for them," Melo-Cabral said. "We’ll give the little girls manicures, paint their nails, whatever we can do, whatever they’re allowed to have done — just (so they can) see that all these people are all here trying to support them, and make at least one child’s wish come true."
The cut-a-thon takes place from 10 to 6 p.m. at the salon on April 6. Haircuts are $20 all day, and no appointments are slated — it’s a walk-in-only event.
Melo-Cabral explained she plans to hold the event annually around the same time as a transition out of winter and into spring.
"I’ve always wanted to give something back to this organization, because that was a huge part of his happiness, going through that tough time," Melo-Cabral said.
For more on The Dream Factory, visit www.thedreamfactory.ca
For more on the salon, visit https://www.facebook.com/evoluirhairsalon