The First Annual Night of Wigs and Wishes, held on November 3 in Berlin, NJ, worked to bring hope to cancer patients and their loved ones. The event was hosted by the charity, Friends Are By Your Side, an organization founded by Keratin Complex's International Artistic Director Martino Cartier, that donates wigs to those undergoing chemotherapy and other forms of cancer treatment. Cartier founded the charity in May of 2011 with the hope that he could help cancer patients feel beautiful by providing wigs to those who had lost their hair because of treatment.
“This charity means everything to me. This is my legacy, women who have lost hope allow me to put a smile on their face. When I put my head on my pillow at night, I know I am making a difference in the lives of so many people,” says Cartier about his foundation.
The First Annual Night of Wigs and Wishes was a star-studded affair, with guests such as Tabatha Coffey of Tabatha's Salon Makeover, Mary Sciarrone of Cake Boss, the staff of Gatsby Salon from Jerseylicious, Philadelphia-based band Don’t Call Me Francis, artist Danny Tarantola and recording artist Liv Devine. Grammy winning artist Michael Buble also gave a surprise recorded message, announcing that he would be granting a child his wish to meet him.
Throughout the evening, other children had their wishes granted as well. Cartier gifted a signed photograph of Michael Jackson from his own personal collection to a child, and another was told that his wish was coming true when the organization announced that it was sending him and his whole family to Disney World.
Cartier first began granting wishes for young cancer patients when he met Kiki, a young girl who was diagnosed with cancer when she was just 8 years old. Kiki had been turned down for wigs by numerous establishments when Cartier decided to get involved, making the girl a wig and bringing her greatest wish, meeting pop star Justin Bieber, to life. Cartier sent Kiki to a Justin Bieber concert and then surprised her with a meet and greet with the superstar after the show. Only one week later, Kiki lost her battle with cancer, but her memory has lived on in Cartier's heart and inspired him to work harder to bring hope to those suffering from the disease. As a special tribute to Kiki, all attendees of the First Annual Night of Wigs and Wishes lit a candle in the girl's honor.
Now available in 7 countries across the globe, Friends Are By Your Side makes sure that wigs are accessible to cancer patients and that no one is turned away.
For more information, please visit www.friendsarebyyourside.com
[Photo credit: Dennis Kelly Photography]