Towanda Braxton takes time out for cancer survivors

theGRIO REPORT - For one day, The YMCA of Greater Atlanta housed some of the smartest, most beautiful woman you'll ever meet...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

A black woman knows all about what goes down in the hair salon. Sometimes you may feel like you have wasted an entire day before you even get into the chair, but you would not trade in the love, laughter and good old fashion wisdom you pick up from all the other women who come in — just like you to look their best.

There was a makeshift salon in Atlanta this Monday but that same type of spirit and sisterhood was still present. For one day, The YMCA of Greater Atlanta housed some of the smartest, most beautiful woman you’ll ever meet.

“I’m going get my hair done. I’m going to get my lips done. Some lashes and a little check color and just enhance what’s already here,” said Beth Borden-Goodman

A full day of beauty for dozens of women who say they have had countless days where they felt anything but beautiful, days when they did not want to face a mirror or even get out of bed. They’ve all battled cancer and won.

Now, they’ve been given a chance to forget the physical and emotional scars in exchange for memories of a free day of beauty and inspiring words from a woman determined to stand in solidarity with them.

“Cancer is very personal for me. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer. My mother law had lung cancer. It’s very personal to me, says Towanda Braxton. “I had to do something to be involved.”

Towanda Braxton stars on We TV’s Braxton Family Values with her sisters. If you’ve watched the show, you know all about her quick wit and the way she works to keep her real life sisters on track and on tune when they sing on stage.

Monday her focus was a shared focus with “The Sister’s Network”.

The Network is a leading voice and only national African-American breast cancer survivorship organization in the United States. The group says breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among African-American women and roughly 26,480 new cases will be diagnosed this year; however, “The Sister’s Network”t doesn’t focus on the struggle but the victory, helping to create “Transformation 2011: A Brand New You”.

“There’s the one young lady I met, she had breast cancer and cervical cancer. One is bad enough but to have two in your body at the same time. It’s unthinkable,” Braxton said. “These women are so strong. I don’t know if I could be that strong. These women inspire me.”

Nationally recognized stylists from The Weave Shop came on board as did nail artists from Atlanta’s own “Tiny’s Nail Bar” to create an outer transformation that matched the inner one that these women say they’ve gone undergone.

“We just wanted to uplift them and inspire them to feel really beautiful,” says the founder and co-owner of the Weave Shop. After hours of pampering, one by one each woman turned to face the mirror.

“We’ve all been through it. We’ve lost our hair and our outer beauty. We’ve all been depressed, but this brings you out of the depression, says Mildred Cshmelz. “You realize you are alive. You are here and you have something for the ladies to work with to make you feel beautiful.”

The ladies walked away with a new look and a new friend in Towanda Braxton but an old warning for others. “You know what’s going on with your girlfriends. You know all of their business. Why don’t you know your_girls_?” said Borden-Goodman.

“Your girls, your boobs, are talking to you. Know your body! I know my girls, and today I got to meet one of my favorite girls, Towanda”