As a young woman I took great pride in my appearance. As a teen, I would often get a different "short hair style" chosen from a salon picture as a way to change it up and keep it fresh. Coloring my hair came later on, along with highlights and whole head color changes (blonde to red to dark brown).

When I was 27, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. In a year a half, she had nine surgeries and four chemo treatments. One treatment was an experimental one they didn't even know how to bill at the hospital. It had been sent from John Hopkin's University to Green Bay Oncology specifically for her.

She rebounded briefly after my daughter's birth, her namesake and god daughter. She'd been my coach and was there for the ultrasound. She was the best friend and sister one could ever know. I was so blessed to grow up with her as my "mom" and hero. She died on my daughter's first birthday. She was 29.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 14 months later after a prophylactic surgery (double mastectomy) showed my testing was positive for the same genetic mutation. My daughter was two. The Saturday I woke her with my head shaved (I had started chemo and that Friday it was coming out in handfuls), she just stared in quiet thought. Later, when I nonchalantly mentioned her haircut appointment, she began crying, "Oh, no .... Not like Mommy's!"

Marli said when she completed treatment that she was going to grow her hair down to her butt. I knew that same feeling when I'd got mine to grow back in. Hair changes after chemotherapy and it was difficult for mine to stay healthy at a longer length because it's fine. I discovered that Pro Extensions did what nature was unable to do.

The way it filled it up and in was beautiful and just looked so natural. At age 10, my daughter looked at me and said, "WOW! You look beautiful MOM!"

And I felt beautiful. Now she likes to add the color wefts to her beautiful hair, which is growing out from a donation to Locks for Love a few months earlier. What a blessing she is and what a gift to myself.