JUN 2013

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 119 of 139

WINNING WAYS Diva Treatment Visiting the spa was among Daphne Evans' greatest comforts throughout her struggles with cancer. Now, this survivor helps patients across the country experience the same benefits, firsthand. In the battle against cancer, there are many warriors. But none have quite the style of three-time survivor Daphne Evans, who is devoted to helping female cancer patients indulge in the luxury of spa days—all-expenses paid. Evans—who has beat ovarian, breast and spinal cancer over the past 14 years—launched the Heaven's Door Cancer Foundation ( in 2005 to fund therapeutic spa days at such elite oases as Safety Harbor Resort and Spa in Safety Harbor, Florida; Ravella Resort and Spa in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada; and Bellagio Spa in Dallas. "I don't ask spas for a handout," says the San Francisco resident and law firm manager. Rather, Evans augments Heaven's Door grants and donations with her own salary to finance participants' spa treatments. Beyond being a spa service fairy, she lends emotional support to cancer patients, employing lots of compassion—and some tough love, too. "My girls call me 'mother hen,' because I'll fuss at them when they pity themselves," Evans says. "I tell them, 'I know where you've been, and we've got to do something to get your spirits up.' It's encouraging one woman at a time, and then they end up encouraging one another." When asked about her foundation's trademarked emphasis on providing Diva Care, Evans explains, "I call my girls divas. I call myself a diva. I love fashion, I love wearing stilettos, and I learned, it's not only about getting pampered to keep your spirits raised, but also dressing up more and taking great care of yourself in every way possible." —Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn 118 DAYSPA | JUNE 2013 DAYSPA: At what point in your own battle with cancer did you decide you wanted to provide spa services for other patients? Daphne Evans: It was eight years ago, when I ended up having to go for a double mastectomy. I got home that day after the surgery and stood in front of the mirror and bawled my eyes out. It's like an amputation, it really is. Because our girls—that's what I call them— are part of us. The next day, I decided to go to the spa, and it made me feel very feminine again, so I ended up going back every day that week! I thought, if this makes me feel this good, then it must be something that can help other women who are suffering, too. How can women get in touch with you about setting up services? Heaven's Door is a virtual, national non-profit, and patients reach me through the website. When they email me, I send them my criteria: You have to be in the middle of your battle—whether you've recently had surgery or have experienced a recurrence of cancer. You have to be receiving either chemo or radiation treatment. Or, you have to have come into remission within the past year. Then I set up a time to talk with them, find out their location and start researching available spa experiences in their neighborhoods. Are your clients also breast cancer survivors? These women have all types of cancer. I have a girl in stage four of endenocarcinoma: cancer of the bone, liver, brain and lung. I get a lot of women going

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Dayspa - JUN 2013