Salon Picasso’s Radha Sarn recognizes a very special mom with Mother’s Day makeover


Salon Picasso owner Radha Sarn organized an early Mother’s Day of pampering for Krystie Biernaczyk, whose seven-year-old son Gage Staley is fighting cancer. Sarn treated the single mom to a makeover followed by a special dinner at The Keg with Gage and his grandmother. Submitted photo

For five years, Surrey mom Krystie Biernaczyk has endured the unimaginable struggle of having a child sick with cancer.

Since his diagnosis, seven-year-old Gage Staley has relapsed three times. Each time, Biernaczyk said her hopes and dreams of a healthy future for her son are ripped away.

“My world is just shattered,” Biernaczyk told Vancouver Desi. “With every time that he relapses, the chances of him beating it get smaller and smaller.”

On Saturday, Biernaczyk was able to enjoy an escape from the doctor’s appointments and hospital visits that have become her family’s everyday reality.

The single mom was treated to a Mother’s Day makeover at Salon Picasso in Surrey followed by a special dinner at The Keg with Gage and his grandmother. Salon owner Radha Sarn organized and funded the day of pampering.

As a fellow single mother, Sarn said she was touched by Gage’s story and wanted to help Biernaczyk.

“I know how hard it is to raise a child, especially when someone has cancer,” said Sarn. “I feel for her.”

After getting her hair and makeup done, Biernaczyk said she had never felt so beautiful.

“When I got home, Gage said, ‘Mom, you look like a princess!’” she said with a laugh. “It was so nice to have something done for me.”

The family’s ordeal began November 2008 when Gage woke up one morning and couldn’t get out of bed. The then-four-year-old was paralyzed, his spine crushed by cancer. Called neuroblastoma, his cancer stretched along the nerves of his spine from his collarbone to his belly button.

“It took him a year to learn how to walk again,” said Biernaczyk.

Gage has undergone multiple surgeries and countless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, but the cancer keeps coming back.

Last summer, he travelled to Philadelphia with his mom to see an oncologist about experimental treatments. After starting the treatment at B.C Children’s Hospital, one of Gage’s tumours disappeared. However, another one grew larger at the same time and he was forced to stop the treatment.

Today, Gage is undergoing his fourth round of chemotherapy since January. Despite his illness, Biernaczyk said her son is a happy little guy who loves to dance.

“Some days are harder than others but he does it with a smile on his face,” she said. “He’s the reason why I can do it.”

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