SALEM, N.H. — Kathy Francisco believes every day is a gift that should never be taken for granted.
She knows that well, as she battles Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, 10 years after being cancer free.
Two recent events have lifted her spirits. One was spending time with 29 family members in North Carolina.
“This was absolutely quality time to get to know each other, which we will cherish forever,” said Francisco, 57. “It’s the simple things in life that makes forever.”
The second was being the recipient of the 2013 Project Makeover, after being recommended by her oncologist, Dr. Han-Ting Lin, chief of medical oncology at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen.
“She lives every day with grace and courage, and fearlessly faces any obstacle. I feel very privileged to know her and to care for her,” Lin said.
Project Makeover was co-founded by local business women Susan Kanoff, a fashion coach, and Grace Moschetto, a make-up artist and owner of Grace Professional Cosmetics to recognize women for their contributions to the community and serving as role models in the face of life’s challenges.
The makeover included makeup, hair stylist, a new wardrobe, a meeting with a nutritionist and getting her home kitchen painted.
“It was an inside-out makeover. It’s a lift for someone who’s going through cancer treatment and wants to get their life back up,” Kanoff said. Project Makeover recently partnered with Holy Family Hospital and Francisco is the first patient to participate.
“Kathy is someone who is a very giving type of person,” Kanoff said. “She was the perfect example for our program because she has given of herself so much, it was time to give back to her.”
Francisco worked at the Internal Revenue Service in Andover for more than 30 years. At the IRS, she and her coworkers raised thousands of dollars for the Blue Ribbon Campaign as well as items for Toys for Tots program. She is a former recipient of the YWCA’s Annual Tribute to Women and Industry and Business (TWIN) Awards. Even through her illness, she is giving of herself as a hospice volunteer.