Hospital rooms are being transformed into beauty salons and spas by Jackelyn Kastanis, providing patients the opportunity to feel attractive whenever they wish.
After her childhood best friend Brooke was diagnosed with cancer at 27 and given one year to live, Kastanis had the idea to start her nonprofit Simply from the Heart. ‘Simply from the Heart’ is when girls go to different hospitals and do the makeup of girls with illnesses. It makes them happy and makes them feel like a princess.
She spent as much time with Brooke as she could and soon discovered that the hospital was “a very stale environment.” Kastanis bought makeup and hair extensions to cheer up her companion and give her a sense of normalcy, and the two spent hours a day experimenting with eyeshadow and lipstick.
Kastanis told CBS News, “She, believe it or not, started taking less morphine, and it changed her entire persona.”
Brooke died in 2011, and Kastanis was inspired to start ‘Simply from the Heart’ after learning how much her friend loved doing her makeup in the hospital. Volunteers known as “glam girls” fill “glam boxes” with 30 different beauty goods. There are now chapters all over the United States where there are “glam girls”. The glam girls deliver the hampers to hospital patients and then treat them with hand massages, nail painting, and makeup application.
More than 5,000 patients have received glam kits since 2014. “It gives them the distraction that they need,” Kastanis said. “I feel that Brooke was identified by her illness, and that was what killed me the most.” Patients have informed her that the glam boxes have helped them recuperate, and she wants them to enjoy “an experience that felt like Christmas morning, or a birthday, or something just so magical.” “We have our doctors and they keep us alive,” Kastanis told CBS News. “But emotionally, we all want our souls to feel sparked up to get us through.”