Meet the Henrico hairdresser who provides comfort and care to cancer patients

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 18:05:45-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Janeen Kamler is getting a new look. It is a hairstyle she didn’t anticipate or even want. Janeen is saying goodbye to her locks before chemo does the job.

“Everything about this has been ordained or meant to be. This will be fine,” said Janeen. “That is my attitude. Let’s get it done and take care of it.”

She was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in January.

“The anxiety of waiting to know whether it was stage 4 or stage 3 was huge,” she recalled.

Janeen Kamler

The 64-year-old is shaving her head. It is a delicate job she is entrusting to Cheryl Tankersley.

“I can’t explain. I felt this total calm. Ok, this is the place,” said Janeen.

The hairdresser makes women battling cancer feel confident and beautiful on the inside and out with new wigs.

“I will shave them. Customize the wig. Trim the wig,” said Cheryl. “There is no charge for that. That is my ministry.”

In 9 years, Cheryl has helped thousands of clients find the right wig during treatment.

“I’m honored. Sometimes I ask why did you choose me? I say, ‘Thank God you chose me,’” said Cheryl.

Drawers full of thank you cards arrive by the dozens.

“I take them home with me all of the time,” said Cheryl. “I go home every night and cry because I am touched by what I see every day.”

Nervous about losing her locks, Janeen is comforted by Ernie a service dog provided by Cheryl and Caring Canines.

“It’s so easy to bless someone else. If we would just see the opportunities that come to us every day,” said Cheryl.

Cancer may be taking something from Janeen, but the former teacher sees the silver lining in her loss.

Cheryl Tankersley

“Your hair is going to come out anyway. It might as well go somewhere to help someone who needs it,” said Janeen.

Janeen is donating her hair to Shelby in Charlottesville. The six-year-old lives with alopecia an auto-immune disorder that leaves people without hair.

Cheryl Tankersley will bag Janeen’s hair, dye it and fashion a wig for little Shelby. A gesture that leaves the bubbly girl giddy.

“Thank you for giving me her hair,” said Shelby.


“I’ve been so lucky. I’ve been given gifts my whole life,” said Janeen. “Hopefully this will be a gift that will make her feel better too.”

Janeen is wearing her new wig with pride. Like so many other clients she’s forever grateful for the hairdresser from heaven.

“I mean to be in this business to help people. It is amazing. Absolutely amazing,” said Janeen. “She is one of God’s angels without a doubt.”

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