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Spa Euphoria proprietor salutes breast cancer survivors, their supporters and her sister’s memory

Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: Oct 29, 2013

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Nursing an eight-month old baby, Keisa Miller-Hanna thought she had a clogged milk duct. She sought medical treatment. Her symptoms were chalked up to asthma attacks. But after a CAT scan showed a mass in her breast and lung area, a biopsy was done. Three weeks after her diagnosis and one round of chemotherapy treatment, Miller-Hanna had died. She never got the chance to fight the disease. She left behind a husband and four children. Her family was devastated. But her sister Shaketra Simms says she never wants to forget the woman she says was a giver, and as such she wants to salute the people that are fighting the battle and their supporters. In memory of her sister, Simms, the proprietor of Spa Euphoria, says she’s doing what she can to ensure that survivors and their supporters feel beautiful and at the same time, honor the memory of her sister.

During breast cancer awareness month, and through to the end of November, Spa Euphoria, is offering a Chemo Facial, Survivor’s Milk Bath Facial (both of which are sensitive and formulated for people who have been having chemotherapy and even those who have not undergone chemotherapy treatment) and Pumpkin Refresher Facial (as it is Fall after all).

For those who want to make a day of it, they can also indulge in Spa Euphoria’s specialties like their shampoo, treatment and Dominican blow-out and their manicure and pedicure as well.

“They can make a day out of it. That’s why we did the whole deal with the facial, shampoo and blowout and mani and pedi; so they can be floating when they walk out and walk into treatment looking beautiful and feeling beautiful,” said Simms.

And she’s offering the services at deeply discounted rates. She’s even given out free certificates at events like Paint the Street because she says it’s not just the people battling cancer that need to feel special, but their supporters as well.

“[Miller-Hanna] had a huge heart. Everybody’s children were in her house. Her house was like the UN (United Nations), so it wasn’t just her kids that lost their mom, but her children’s friends … It was a major disaster,” said Simms. “By doing this, I encourage those who are battling cancer to make them feel beautiful, to make them feel alive because I can’t imagine what someone in that situation is faced with every day just wondering if this is going to be it.”

While her sister did not suffer, Simms said there are people who just keep fighting every day. Besides her sister, she said she has lost friends to cancer who had battled long and hard.

“I had a girlfriend — Gloria who I went to treatment with… and God just humbled me because I walked into this room, dealing with my issues… girl you need to lose some weight, you need to deal … and I walked into this room and I’m looking at the women sitting there with the chemotherapy lines and one lady was just so happy and singing and had this spirit about her and I started to cry. I was like I didn’t get a chance to do this with my sister. This is my way of giving back on behalf of my sister.”

Because of her sister and her dad who passed away from prostate cancer (as a result, they found out that his mother had died from ovarian cancer), Simms has been encouraging all members of her family to have their breasts checked during October.  Last week, she herself had a biopsy, mammogram and a blood work check.

“When you think back about the trivial arguments and the crap you went through, and if you’d only known that in five years, she (Miller-Hanna) would be gone, every moment would have counted because you can’t do it after they’re gone. So my thing is to tell everybody that they have to do it,” she said.

While Simms said she and her sister did not do spa days, she said their thing was shopping.

“I’m into giving back, and this is all about giving back and doing it with a good heart,” she said. “This is a salute to my sister in memory of her because of the many things she wanted to do. She was into marriage ministry; she did lingerie parties and encouraged couples to spice up their relationship. She was a huge giver, so this really is in memory of her. People do forget you and the good you do, but I don’t want to forget my sister,” she said.

Spa Euphoria is located in an old Bahamian home at the corner of Meeting Street and Augusta Street. Simms said she chose the location because she fell in love with the building’s architecture, and she wanted people to feel at home when they stepped into her spa.

In an effort to pamper the entire woman, Simms who describes herself as an “accessory diva” has also incorporated an accessory boutique into her services. Spa Euphoria can be reached at 322-6365.

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