“Mondays at Racine Cancer Care Foundation will once again host their annual fundraiser, The Long Island Beauty Ball (LIBB) on Monday, Oct. 30, at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Now in its 13th year, Mondays at Racine Cancer Care Foundation’s primary mission is to reduce the physical, emotional and cosmetic side effects of chemotherapy and radiation by providing free in-salon beauty and wellness services.”
“The Mondays at Racine Cancer Care Program provides free salon & spa services to men and women diagnosed with cancer in attempt to reduce the stress, anxiety, and side effects of cancer treatments. Because women typically visit salons more than men, we wanted to encourage men who are battling cancer to take advantage of this wonderful program as well. We hope this story inspires other men to spend some time at Racine.”
This showcase event featured the health, wellness and beauty industries coming together to educate and elevate cancer care in New York. It has been noted as the party of the year attracting hundreds of like-minded individuals and organizations looking to support the lives of those living with cancer.
Donna Donna interviews Rachel DeMolfetto and Cynthia Sansone of Racine Spa about their Cancer Care Program providing free salon & spa services to people diagnosed with cancer in attempt to reduce the stress, anxiety and side effects of cancer treatments.
The bond between sisters runs deep in the town of Islip, especially in the DeMolfetto family, where Mildred DeMolfetto raised five daughters and a son, teaching them to not only love one another, but the importance of making the lives of those around them better through acts of kindness.
Sisters Cynthia, Rachel, Karla, Ann Marie and Michelle were close growing up, but their mother’s diagnosis of cancer in 1984 brought them even closer.
The Monday oasis for Long Islanders undergoing cancer treatment continues to expand its footprint here on the South Shore and beyond.
The Mondays at Racine Foundation, jumpstarted by the 2012 HBO documentary “Mondays at Racine,” has hooked up with Bay Shore’s Drew Patrick Spa to offer free weekly yoga classes exclusively for those battling cancer — all while Drew Patrick is otherwise closed to the public.
The new Mondays at Drew Patrick program was celebrated Monday night with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception at the downtown spa.
Richard Byrnes, a radiation oncologist and the medical director at Drew Patrick, said the specialized yoga classes perfectly suits the spa’s mission for wellness.
Cynthia Sansone and her sister Rachel DelMolfetto watched helplessly for nine years as their mother battled cancer before succumbing to the disease. One of the hardest aspects of that time, Cynthia relates, was when chemotherapy caused her mom’s hair to fall out. “We didn’t know how to handle the situation,” she recalls.
After her death, Cynthia and Rachel reflected on how much their mother enjoyed visiting the salon. “It was always a place she went for refuge,” says Cynthia. So 10 years ago, they created Mondays at Racine, a program that invites cancer patients to visit the salon for complimentary restorative treatments, support and pampering. Today, salons throughout the country have embraced the Mondays at Racine program in their communities, and the organization is the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary, produced by HBO.
Striving to provide the comfort, beauty and pampering that is often lost during cancer treatment, the sisters’ goal was to create, “a healing haven filled with wonderful, loving energy and services that range from manis/pedis, lashes and scalp treatments as well as massages, facials, yoga and meditation,” explains Cynthia.
March 12, 2015
How you look can greatly affect how you feel. That’s why a hair salon in Cary, North Carolina is offering free services to local cancer patients. On the second Monday of every month, Joule Salon offers a complimentary shampoo and blowout (or shave) to women in treatment.
“It was something we were doing on our clients in the salon anyway,” owner Lisa Rivoli shared with TODAY.com. “But following a trip my daughter took to New York, we decided to join forces as an affiliate of the national program Mondays at Racine.” The Long Island-based care program, which provides free beauty treatments to cancer patients, was featured in an Oscar-nominated documentary of the same name.
September 29, 2014
This October 27th, the philanthropic organization Mondays at Racine will honor Carmen DePasquale, founder and CEO of DePasquale Companies, and Joe Mastalia, president of DePasquale Salon Systems, with its Mentor Award at the philanthropy’s 2nd annual fund-raising gala. Launched by sisters Cynthia Sansone, Rachel Demolfetto, and Karla Waldron, along with Sansone’s daughter RoseMary Holcomb, Mondays at Racine provides a safe haven for cancer patients to receive complimentary beauty treatments from an understanding and educated team of professionals in the normal setting of the women’s Racine Salon and Spa in Islip, New York.
Inspired by their own mother’s battle with cancer in the 1980s and her subsequent depression as she struggled to find someone who could help her cope with hair loss and other side effects from cancer treatments, the sisters opened their own salon and launched the program ten years ago, offering the complimentary services one Monday a month, a day the salon normally would be closed to the salon’s other clientele.
March 2, 2014
Sometimes when I interview sources for a story, there is single quote that replays itself in my head for days. Most recently, this happened during a phone interview with Cynthia Sansone, one of the owners of Racine de Beaute Salon and Spa in Islip, New York, and co-founder of the program Mondays at Racine, which offers complimentary services to women undergoing cancer treatment. Sansone was telling me that although the reason the salon started doing the services was strictly altruistic, the program itself has benefited the owners, their team and their business in a myriad of ways. “It’s truly addressed every part of our soul,” she said.
It’s a nice quote to be sure, but I wasn’t really sure why that line resonated so strongly with me until I later realized I hadn’t just heard her speak those words, I felt them. Something about the phrasing of the words and the tremor in her voice bounced through cell towers across the country to California and grabbed me, and I truly understood just what this program meant to Sansone, her sisters who helped found it, and their clients. I felt her words, because Sansone was speaking through her soul.
Over the past decade, two sisters have opened their hearts and their salon to tend to the physical and emotional needs of women who have cancer. On the third Monday of each month, Islip’s Racine Salon and Spa offers free services to cancer patients and survivors, whether it’s time to shave their heads or they’re due for a healing massage, makeup lesson or Reiki session. It’s called Mondays at Racine.
An HBO documentary put a spotlight on this hometown program, resulting in a national show of support, an Academy Award nomination and a new nonprofit dedicated to supporting the journey of cancer patients. Southside Hospital and the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute are proud to partner with Mondays at Racine.
November 7, 2013
In this week’s “Foot Soldiers” segment, host Melissa Harris-Perry profiled Cynthia Sansone and Rachel DeMolfetto, two Long Island sisters who run Racine Salon & Spa in Islip, N.Y. On the third Monday of each month, they open their doors to women cancer patients, and pamper them with an array of salon services free of charge. Their story is told in the HBO short documentary “Mondays at Racine,” nominated for an Academy Award this Sunday night.
October 13, 2013
As guests mingled inside the Islip Theatre last Monday night waiting for a special screening of the Academy-Award nominated documentary “Mondays at Racine,” to start, many did not realize the film’s poster girl was in their midst. Sporting chin-length curls, Maureen Span looked vastly different from the version of herself that appears on promotional material for the HBO documentary.
“I don’t even feel like it’s me,” said Span, 34, of West Babylon.
Span was in a different place in her life when that photo, which depicts her having her head shaved, was taken in October 2011. That summer, she had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, had a double mastectomy and was undergoing chemotherapy.
February 18, 2013
This year’s nominees for best short documentary are no bowl of cherries: Redemption deals with people who collect recyclable cans and bottles to survive, King’s Point looks at all the lonely people at a seniors-only condominium in Florida, and Open Heart is about Rwandan children undergoing cardiac surgery. Of the ones I’ve seen, however, the most painful by far is Cynthia Wade’s Mondays at Racine. Once a month the Racine Salon de Beaute & Spa opens its doors to women being treated for cancer, most of whom are losing their hair from chemo or radiation treatment and have decided to bite the bullet and get their heads shaved. The two owners lost their mother to breast cancer in 1984 and, remembering how traumatized she was by her deteriorating appearance, decided to offer free beauty treatments to other women in her predicament.
February 11, 2013
Once a month, a Long Island salon opens its doors to cancer patients and survivors to get free treatments. That act of kindness goes a long way. In fact, the salon is the subject of a documentary that’s now an Oscar contender.
News spread fast that film, “Mondays at Racine”, a documentary based on their salon and spa in Islip, had just been nominated for an Oscar.
”I think every time we care for a patient we care for our mother again and that’s our motivation,” said Rachel DeMolfetto, of Racine Salon & Spa.
Their mother died of cancer. The film, made by Academy Award winning director Cynthia Wade, centers around the salon.
January 31, 2013
It’s not every day that an ordinary business becomes a part of something as renowned as the Academy Awards. But then there’s nothing ordinary about Racine’s Salon de Beauté and Spa, which is located at 341 Main Street in Islip, especially every third Monday of the month. That’s because since 2002, the salon has opened its doors on that day to women and even men undergoing cancer treatment to offer them any service on their menu free of charge. And as a result, it has brought comfort and companionship to hundreds of people who face a dreaded diagnosis, and the resulting unforeseen drama that takes over their lives.