When cancer patients walk in through the doors of Compassionate Healing, they’re welcomed with an embrace and aesthetician Christina Threlkeld’s warm smile.
For the past two years, Threlkeld has expanded her clientele base to provide free services for those with cancer. She works at Valley Medical Center as an independent contractor where she can be closer to her clients.
For Threlkeld, the pivotal moment was seeing her mom care for her grandmother who had breast cancer.
“I can be really honest, someone of these women are really suffering,” she said. “I saw that in my grandma. And I see that now.”
Two years ago, she underwent oncology training to give her clients “the best possible service” and to help with their healing process.
“My job isn’t to help your skin, but it was for the internal,” Threlkeld said. “Sometimes it isn’t the physical, but it is the emotional struggle.”
Maggie Brown, a patient with ovarian cancer and one of Threlkeld’s clients, nodded her head in agreement.
“We have our medical doctors, the medical team and drugs and necessities to get us through that part of it. That’s what heals our bodies,” Brown said. “But Christina is what heals our hearts and souls. She makes you comfortable with what you’re going through by giving so much love and care. It’s a different kind of care, but’s it’s just as necessary. Without that, a lot of people won’t make it.”
Threlkeld said these free services are made possible through the donations of her paying customers.
“The only way I’m able to do that is through my paying customers,” she said. “I’m able to do that as long as I have people in the community helping fund my work so I feel completely at ease to donate for free. Anyone who comes and pays for a service is contributing to this care.”
For Threlkeld, the payoff of her free services comes when she is able to make her patients feel beautiful, even when they’ve lost their hair and nails to treatment.
“I’ve had women write me notes saying ‘Thank you for making me feel like a lady again,’” she said. “After losing your breasts to breast cancer, or losing your hair to other things, you’ll feel like you’re not a lady. My job is to remind you that you’re beautiful just the way you are.”
“She’s so accepting of you the way you are that you start accepting you the way you are,” Brown said. “When my hair was gone, she said ‘Oh, your head is so beautiful.’ I still felt beautiful because my dear friend had told me that. Mentally it wasn’t that traumatic, especially because of Christina.”
For more information about Threlkeld and Compassionate Healing’s services, visit www.ChristinaThrelkeld.com.