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Moffitt Cancer Center's salon stylist gives hope to employee

Posted at 2:59 PM, Mar 16, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Moffitt Cancer Center is known for helping people beat cancer, but at the bottom floor of the main campus is a small salon that gives women the power to fight.

"My hair is my beauty, it’s my grace," Natasha Grant said.

Grant has worked at Moffitt for the past three years, but just discovered the Magnolia Salon down in the basement.

She also found Tasha Swafford.

"She’s not just my stylist, she’s my friend," Grant said.

She would’ve never found herself in Swafford’s chair if her doctor didn’t switch her Lupus medication. One day, Grant began taking out her braids and found out about a devastating side effect.

"My hair started shedding," Grant said. "Walmart shopping bag half full of hair."

Swafford coaxed grant out of wearing ponytails and worked to bring her curls back.

"In order for them to feel like they can fight, they have to feel beautiful," Tasha Swafford said. "They have to feel like they’re themselves, they have to get that empowerment back."

The big test for Swafford was getting Grant ready for her vow renewal.

"She was like, 'Just show me the dress, show me the hairpiece, and I got you,'" Grant said.

"I wanted to make sure that was the last thing on her mind," Swafford said.

"She did a bomb job," Grant said.

Now, Grant’s in Swafford’s chair every two weeks with a head full of hair and a new friend to boot.

"It’s not about cancer or lupus or whatever they have going on. It’s about making them feel good about themselves," Swafford said.

If you or a loved on is a patient at Moffitt Cancer Center, you can take advantage of the services Magnolia Salon offers. You can find more information here.