Back in the 1980s, everyone knew who Eileen Corey was. She was a community legend as the Health Correspondent for WKYC in Cleveland, Ohio. When she walked down the street, people came up to her and asked for her autograph. Her fire-red curls were easy to identify and her matter-of-fact, down-to-earth reporting helped keep Cleveland’s people healthy and happy. Although it is decades later, Eileen still pampers her trademark red hair. She keeps a monthly appointment at the salon to keep its color vibrant and her hair healthy and lush. She hasn’t missed an appointment with her hair stylist Kari Phillips in the last 15 years. They’ve established a deep friendship over the years, sharing gossip and talking about business. Because of their history, Kari knew a lot about Eileen’s hair and scalp. So during her last routine appointment, Kari told Eileen something she never thought she’d hear from her hair stylist. And it ended up saving her life…
While going about her hair cut and treatment, Kari noticed something new. Eileen had a large mole toward the back of her scalp. Kari was surprised, she had never seen it in the last fifteen years and it certainly wasn’t there last month.
“Because we take such little partings on our touch-ups and highlights, we can see pretty much the whole entire scalp,” Kari told Eileen’s old news station, WKYC. At the time, she told Eileen, “It doesn’t look right, I don’t remember seeing it, and I need you to go to your dermatologist. Please take my advice.”
Good thing Eileen respected Kari. She took her advice and booked an appointment with her dermatologist Pam Davis. When the doctor saw the mole, she instantly ordered a biopsy. And after the test results came back, the bad news was confirmed – the mole on the former television reporter’s scalp was cancerous. Eileen was diagnosed with early-stage melanoma.
Good thing she caught it early. If it wasn’t for her hair stylist Kari Phillips, she might never have caught the cancer – or at least not while it was still treatable.
“She had not seen it a month ago, so that’s how fast this appears,” Eileen told WKYC. “I would not have found this. I wouldn’t have felt it because it wasn’t raised.”
Because Kari is an expert and observant, she warned Eileen before it was too late. Now Eileen doesn’t have to go through any invasive cancer treatment or chemotherapy. The melanoma was caught while only at the skin level where it could easily be removed with a simple surgery.
And now the former television health correspondent is eternally grateful to her hair stylist.
After she got the news that the mole was cancerous but only in an early stage, she picked up the phone to call Kari to thank her. She knew that if she had canceled that hair appointment or gone with another stylist, the cancer forming on her scalp wouldn’t have been caught. She is eternally grateful to Kari for saving her life and extending her time on earth.
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