Cancer Patient Gets Holiday Makeover - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Cancer Patient Gets Holiday Makeover

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by Heather Graf

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A local woman diagnosed with stomach cancer wanted just one thing for Christmas – to look good and feel better. 

Leslie Rickman has devoted her entire life to her family, so when she was given a diagnosis of stage four stomach cancer, her family who wanted to make sure her wish came true.

Her nephew contacted NewsChannel 5 in hopes of making it happen.

When we put out the call for help, another special woman who owns her own salon jumped at the chance, and went above and beyond.

"This is the rewarding part of my job," said Melissa Schleicher, who owns Parlour 3 in Brentwood. "I get to style celebrities on the road and all that, but I love making people feel special. I go home at the end of the day, feeling good, too."

Schleicher didn't meet Rickman until she walked into the salon Friday, but the two women instantly connected.

"After meeting her, she's a tough lady," said Schleicher. "She's going to be here for a long time, she's going to beat this cancer."

It's true, Rickman is incredibly tough. She's dedicated her life to her family, her children, and grandchildren, and she's worked hard to support all of them.

When the cancer diagnosis came last year, it scared her, but it didn't stop her.

"I just continued to fight," she said.  "It's a hard thing to do, but you just have to do it, you just can't kid up. These beautiful kids – that's what keeps me going daily."

Rickman's nephew said he just wanted to see her pampered, even if for just one day.

"The fact that she raised not only her kids, but helped raise me too," said Travis Staten. "She's a very strong lady. She wanted to feel like woman again, she wanted her hair and make-up and things like that done, and I said okay.  I didn't say anything else, I just said okay."

Her makeover at Parlour 3 was just the beginning of her special surprise.

During her visit to the salon, a client overheard her story and felt compelled to help. She donated $500 to Rickman and her family.

When Schleicher presented her with the money, Rickman burst into tears.

"This is my Christmas," she said. "Thank you all."

From there, she went next door to Stacey Rhodes Boutique, where she was treated to a designer outfit to call her own.

"I think when you feel that you're pretty on the outside, it can also make you feel good inside," said Rhodes. "It really helps."

Rickman has lost nearly 100 pounds over the last year. She's also lost her hair, her vision in one eye, and has suffered painful complications from the cancer.

In just a few hours, though, her spirits were lifted.

"A million dollars," she said as she left the boutique. "I feel like a million dollars."


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