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A special mother-daughter day
Cancer patient pampered at Serenity Day Spa, Lori Grice Photography
Mother daughter Web.jpg
Sherri Perkins, right, gives her daughter Adrian Perkins a hug at Serenity Day Spa and Salon in Statesboro after enjoying a special day of beauty. Adrian is a cancer patient at PruittHealth-Bethany in Millen. (BRIGHAM HODGES/special)

When asked what she wanted to make her dreams come true, Adrian Perkins, a cancer patient at PruittHealth-Bethany in Millen, said she wanted to feel pretty. 

Perkins, 29, wanted a makeover and photo session. "And pizza and shopping," she added. 

Perkins had another request: to share the day with her mom, Sherri Perkins. 

The special day is part of a Committed to Caring project that PruittHealth-Bethany carries out through a partnership with a company called Second Wind Dreams that supplies the resources to make a person's dreams come true.

The partners of PruittHealth-Bethany, a nursing home and rehabilitation center that is part of the PruittHealth organization that serves Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida, came up with a plan. Portal native and resident Brigham Hodges, who serves as PruittHealth-Bethany's recreational services director, made the arrangements. 

Statesboro's Serenity Day Spa and Salon provided services for both women that included facials and makeup, hair styling and manicures.

Lori Grice Photography, located in downtown Statesboro, provided the photo session and portraits.

Perkins was diagnosed with breast cancer that metastasized to the spine just over a year ago and has been a resident of PruittHealth-Bethany for the last six months and is on hospice care.

Raised by her grandmother in Millen, Perkins grew up attending church and said that she learned to love gospel music as a child and now it plays a huge role in her comfort and faith during her sickness. 

Alice Milton, PruittHealth-Bethany housekeeping and laundry supervisor, who made the trip to Statesboro along with mother and daughter, Hodges and LPN charge nurse Keyla Lockett, said, "She was in pain as we were driving over and Brigham put on some gospel music and she started rocking and smiling. Gospel music moves her."

Adrian's grandmother passed away four years ago. 

"She hasn't spent much time with her mother," Lockett said. "Her mother is more active in her life now, and this is something she wanted to share with her."

Mom Sherri Perkins smiled as the stylist straightened her hair and said, "She wanted to feel pretty. I just want her to be happy." 

In response to a question about what she would remember most about the day, Sherri said, "Just me and her. Her being here still." 

Adrian chose hot pink for her nails and asked to stay and work with the manicurist for the rest of the day. She changed her mind, however, when she remembered that pizza was a part of her day.

Stylists took great care at Serenity to make the morning special for mom and daughter and make it a day they would always remember.

Lori Grice did the same, and found a pink bow at Adrian's request for one of the glamour shots. 

Lori and husband DeWayne aren't new to this type of session and said they started several years ago giving the gift of family portraits to cancer patients and others in need. 

Cancer survivor Lori said, "It's our 'thank you' to God."

Lori said she was especially moved that Adrian could have asked for anything and she chose a beauty day and a photo session. 

"That goes along with our philosophy here," DeWayne Grice said, "to encourage people to take the time to get those family portraits made. We want everybody to have that memory."

By the time the morning sessions were complete, Adrian showed signs of exhaustion and pain and couldn't tolerate more movement. 

"We went to Little Caesar's, and I got her a personal extra cheese pizza," Hodges said. "We all ate in the bus and talked. Adrian started singing 'Pretty Woman,' the song, and we all started singing with her."

When she moved her head with the rhythm of the song, the ladies in the bus said, "Go, girl!"

Though the shopping part will have to take place on another day, Adrian's beautiful day was indeed successful — a dream come true for all involved.