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Entrepreneur launches skin-care business for cancer patients

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Sandra L. Smith has always believed she has a destiny.

It may have taken her a while, but the 65-year-old has used her life experiences and hobbies to start a business to brighten the lives of cancer patients with specialized skin-care and massage therapy.

Located at the plaza outside Walmart at 21307 County Route 202, the Hands of Ki Holistic Center will offer one-on-one skin care for cancer patients or anyone who wants healthier skin. Its grand opening will be from 6 to 9 p.m. July 6.

A skin-cancer survivor herself, Mrs. Smith understands the physical and emotional toll that combatting the disease can have. She launched the business to provide a comfortable setting for cancer patients on the road to recovery. She’s also a master in reiki, a massage therapy technique that promotes healing by energizing the body.

Reiki — which means universal energy in Japanese — is now used in hospitals to help cancer patients and those with other diseases.

“The idea is that you can draw energy that flows to places in the body that need to heal,” Mrs. Smith said.

She said her background as a licensed practical nurse made her curious about pursuing a career in skin care. Last summer, she earned an esthetician certificate by finishing a program at the Continental School of Beauty in Syracuse.

She next discovered the field of oncology aesthetics — beauty care for cancer patients — and knew she’d found the ideal combination for launching the business. In stark contrast to a hospital room, cancer patients will enjoy a relaxed setting with soft music and dim lighting at her business.

“Cancer patients often have excessively dry skin, and this is an easy way for them to be treated in a comfortable atmosphere,” she said, adding that each patient will receive personalized care. “This is a comfortable, nonthreatening environment they can’t get anywhere else.”

New patients will complete a consultation before starting $50 therapy sessions, which are an hour long. Workshops with therapy experts also will be hosted at the center once a month.

The skin-cancer survivor says she’s ready to help people who have been through the same experience.

“I want them to experience an inner glow,” she said. “If I can get people to be comfortable and relax, then I’ve done my job.”

To schedule an appointment, call the center at 783-1892.

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