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Mondays @ Milano Kicks Off With Open House

Organization set up by West Hartford women to provide beauty services to women battling cancer.

Several dozen people showed up at Milano Salon and Day Spa in Bloomfield on Tuesday evening for an open house and ribbon cutting to kick off Mondays @ Milano.

Health care providers, advocates, volunteers, cancer patients, cancer survivors and local politicians all were in attendance to commemorate the start of the program, organized by a group of West Hartford women to provide services to women undergoing cancer treatment one Monday a month.

The services are donated by the salon and a group of people who just want to help.

“It’s been tremendous,” said Ronit Shoham, a co-organizer.

Carrie Shaw, a board member on Cut Out Cancer of CT, Mondays @ Milano’s 501(c)(3) - agreed.

“We are so excited,” she said. “Everyone knows someone who has cancer. It’s time to give back. It’s been fabulous.”

Echoing Shaw’s comments, salon owners Sergio and Valerio Gurciullo said that they were happy to open their doors and donate their time and staff to the cause.

“Breast cancer is in our family,” Sergio said. “It’s a great thing to reach out and do for everyone.”

The first Monday @ Milano will be on Jan. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will continue on the second Monday of every month.

In addition to beauty treatments, there will be a rack with scarves and hats, and refreshments will be served. Pocket stones with either “hope” or “believe” printed on them are also available. The first session will also include art therapy.

In addition to providing women with support and care, Mondays@Milano is also an opportunity to spread the word about cancer prevention, detection and treatment.

Jan Kritzman of Newington was on hand Tuesday representing Are You Dense, an organization that raises awareness about women with dense breast tissue and the necessity for those women to get ultrasounds after they have their annual mammograms.

Mondays @ Milano and its 501(c)(3) Cut Out Cancer of CT Inc. started when a group of friends, including Shoham, Carrie Shaw, Ayelet Chozik, Sharon Conway and Cindy Horowitz, all rallied to help Rachel Marcus in her battle against breast cancer.

Marcus, who is now cancer-free, and her friends decided to do something more to help women battling cancer.

Janet Crenon Regno, a social worker at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, said that Mondays@Milano will do a lot for cancer patients.

“Patients can come here and find solace, comfort and support; it lets them know they are not alone,” she said. “It will help them find a new normal. … Sometimes it’s the extra care that helps them improve. To see other woman have gone through what they are going through, they can say, ‘If she can do it, I can, too.’ …

“This is part of the healing. It comes through in the extra things you can do for people.”

West Hartford Deputy Mayor Shari Cantor, a close friend of Marcus’ was among the politicians on hand to cut the ribbon marking the beginning of Mondays @ Milano.

“I’m so proud of your strength and courage,” Cantor said. “I’m blessed to know you all.”

For more information on Cut Out Cancer of CT, visit its Facebook page here or e-mail cutoutcancer@gmail.com or call Milano at 860-242-4401.

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