Visit Tracy's fundraiser page, here: www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/cx14/tracy-debarmore-dorame-s-cancer-fund
Tracy DeBarmore Dorame, a longtime hairdresser based in Southern California, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014 after suffering a seizure at her home that left her hospitalized. Devastated by the news, one of Tracy's first concerns was not only what her three children would do, but how her clients would get their hair done. Like many stylists, Tracy's clients are more than just clients to her - they are like family. Some of her clients have been coming to her for over 20 years, and she had worked not only on their hair, but on their children's and, in some cases, even grandchildren's hair as well.
Tracy, one day after surgery
Tracy with surgeon Lars Anchor, MD
A child of divorced parents and older sister to two younger brothers, Nick and David, Tracy found herself at age 16 having to leave high school and enter cosmetology school in order to provide a living for herself. Though her career began out of necessity, Tracy was passionate about hairdressing, often coming home to practice her skills on her younger brother. She found joy in helping her clients look their best and feel confident, working at the same salon, Wade's Hair Salon (which later was sold and became Raphael's) for many years before moving on to Artistic Hair Salon, where she worked and developed her clientele for more than 15 years. She trained with Redken, always striving to improve her craft and learn the latest techniques and trends, embracing whatever was new in the hairdressing world.
Tracy participates in a Cut-A-Thon
Tracy at Jill Foundation Cut-A-Thon
During her time at Artistic Hair, three of Tracy's coworkers battled with, and ultimately lost to cancer. Throughout these times, the salon team participated in Cut-A-Thon fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, donating a solid day's worth of cutting proceeds to the organization. When Jill, one of the hairdressers at the salon, died from breast cancer, the salon team started a non-profit called the Jill Foundation, and continued its work fighting cancer. During this time, Tracy continued to do what she did best - helping those in need, whether they were family, friends, or clients.
Tracy and her family at the Life 4 Tracy Fundraiser
Tracy remembers the day she had her last client before she was no longer able to work. As one of her clients was processing, and she was working on the client's husband's hair, Tracy could sense her vision going, and knew that this was it - her last client. After over 30 years in the industry, Tracy was forced to confront the fact that she could no longer work as a hairstylist.
Salon staff with Tracy (center)
A single mother of three, Tracy has always maintained a positive outlook, working out of necessity, but also because she loved her craft and the joy hairdressing brought to her clients. Now, her salon is celebrating her. This Sunday, May 3, Artistic Hair is hosting an open house event for Tracy, where family, friends, and clients are invited to share their stories, photos, and memories with Tracy and her children. It is a heartfelt gesture to celebrate the immense dedication of a hairdresser and friend. Says Tracy, "To be able to look at my clients, [to have them there with me], how wonderful it is to have that moment."
See a video from the recent salon event, below:
[Images/video courtesy of Nick DeBarmore]
Click through to see more images from the salon event. [pagebreak]
[Image credit: Susan Markovic]