How a Cancer Diagnosis Brought Me to Capitol


Sara “Dawn” Mengler

How a Cancer Diagnosis Brought Me to Capitol

It was about 10 years ago when I originally considered getting my license in esthetics. In fact, when I moved into my new house last year, I found the original information packet from Capitol that I had requested in 2004. I didn’t have the heart to throw it away because it was a reminder of something I’ve always wanted to do.

So why did it take me so long to finally start the esthetics program? I suppose for same reasons everybody puts things off. I thought of every excuse. It was never the right time, I didn’t have the money, it is a huge commitment, plus I was busy playing an adult. I had already gone to school to finish my degree in sociology and I was working for a large corporation making really great money. But, that’s about all I was doing, working. Days, nights holidays and weekends, just working. Still, I was comfortable and wasn’t ready to make any drastic changes.

It wasn’t until life had other plans for me that the direction of my life completely changed. In May of 2014 I was diagnosed with thyroid Cancer. Cancer?! What?! Me?! But I’m so young …and healthy! Or, so, at least I thought! Needless to say, this diagnosis turned my world upside down.

Throughout treatment, my body went through so many changes physically and emotionally, I was a wreck. Some days I didn’t even recognize myself when I looked in the mirror. There were days I felt so grateful that I was well enough to simply take a shower, get dressed, put on some makeup and do my hair. Now that may sound vain to some, but to me, it made me feel human again.

While at one of my many doctors appointments last summer I came across a program called Look Good Feel Better, a non-profit organization that works with cancer patients. Workshops are set up for patients, free of charge, where patients would get a make-over. Patients would also be educated in skin care, makeup as well as wig and prosthetic fittings. Having a program available like this was truly inspiring and I was touched. I knew I wanted to get involved right away…but you have to be licensed to volunteer.

So, that was it, I knew it was time for a change! I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew I had to. I quit my job. I enrolled at Capitol, toured and began to put a plan in to action. I remember sitting in the admissions office thinking to myself, “Am I really doing this?”. I was extremely nervous. So much had changed in such a short amount of time, so what was one more change?!

I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn and develop my skills at Capitol. I chose Capitol after doing research and touring my options. You could feel that the staff at Capitol was passionate about everything they do and the fantastic programs they offer! The staff is so supportive and they begin to feel more like family. I know that I have an incredible amount of resources through Capitol and will continue to, even after I graduate.

Knowing what I know now, I would have filled out my first admissions packet from Capitol and completed this program 10 years ago! I have learned that if there is something you are truly passionate about, it’s worth perusing. Don’t think about it in terms of time or money, all of those details will work themselves out.

It’s never too late to follow your dreams!

Sara “Dawn” Mengler

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