Sarah Erwin Vance won a New You in New York makeover and appeared on the Live with Kelly and Michael Show on May 6.
Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 16, Sarah faced long hospital stays and the treatment she received was hard on her physically and mentally. She has been cancer free since 2001 and looked at the New York experience as an opportunity to share her story.
“Thank you Lord for healing me so I am able to share my story and testimony with so many people, showing how something good can come from something bad,” said Sarah, “Cancer doesn’t always mean its the end — there’s hope. It might be all right. I had such a hard time and look at me now. I have a wonderful husband and beautiful baby girl and I had this wonderful experience in New York.”
Sarah said she enjoyed having the trip and activities planned, arranged and paid for by someone else and having people who knew what they were doing to work on her makeover.
“I went to the Oscar Blandi Salon and everyone who worked on me had more than 25 years of experience,” Sarah said, “That’s why I looked so good.”
Sarah said the salon was super busy and each process took a lot of time. She was there from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. She got a manicure, pedicure, haircut and color. The haircut took 17 inches off and it took four times to get it perfect.The process of coloring and highlighting her hair was also a multi-step process.
Sarah has donated her hair to Locks for Love three times, but they won’t take hair that has been highlighted, so Sarah says her new color and cut may just be a fun change for a few months.
It wasn’t all about the makeover while Sarah and husband Joey were in the Big Apple, they got to take a bus and harbor tour, see Cirque du Soleil and have dinner at the Riverpark Restaurant on the East River.
“Joey got to do more and visit more places than I did,” said Sarah, “He wasn’t the one getting beautified.”
Sarah described her experience as a whirlwind, “It happened so fast, I didn’t know what I said on the show until I saw the video.”
Sarah said the clothes, jewelry and shoes were hers to keep and went on to say, “I may wear the shoes to church, take them off during church and take them off again as soon as I get home. These are not shoes to wear for a long time and I am amazed I didn’t fall. I sacrificed comfort for beauty when I wore them on the show.”
The producers, Kelly and Michael, Lawrence Varian, and everyone at the salon were described by Sarah as being amazing and making her makeover something to remember.
“It was a fun, enjoyable, once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Sarah.
The Vances are back home and back to the real world. Sarah said she was worried that eight-month-old Anna wouldn’t recognize her, but her fear was unfounded.
“She knew her mommy. When I went in to get her, she didn’t cry or anything,” said Sarah, “If she doesn’t know someone, it takes a few minutes for her to warm up to them.”
Sarah says she is enjoying being a celebrity and all the media attention she has had, “I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. The show had an interview with WSAZ arranged for right after the show and I have answered questions for anyone who has called me. I have been overwhelmed with messages on Facebook. I am going to read each one and at least ‘Like’ them.”
She is making a scrapbook with lots of photos to document the trip and her experience on national television, and will have a copy of the show to keep and share with Anna and any future siblings she may have.
“Our family may go back there someday,” said Sarah, “But it sure won’t be the same, nobody will have the trip arranged and paid for.”