Cancer survivor fulfilling promise to God by opening salon of 'hope'

Author: , Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published: Mar 05 2012 11:00:31 AM EST   Updated On: Mar 05 2012 06:29:04 PM EST
Hair salon to open at Fairgrounds
MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. -

The Fairgrounds Square Mall is expanding its options for shoppers.

Three new stores are set to open at the mall in Muhlenberg Twp., Berks Co., this month, but one of the businesses has a vision that is very different from the rest.

is expanding its options for shoppers.

Three new stores are set to open this month, but one of the businesses has a vision that is very different from the rest.

Hope, Beauty & Style, a unisex beauty salon, will open its doors to customers next week. While serving everyone, the salon especially cares for cancer patients, caregivers and survivors, the mall said.

Workers were busy Monday, trying to get everything ready for the salon's grand opening.

Everything from the floor to the colors on the wall have been designed to bring happiness into the lives of its future clientele.

Annie Aponte is opening the new business inside the mall to try and bring some style, but also comfort, into the lives of people battling cancer.

"I want to have that place where you go and feel at home, that you don't feel you have to be hiding, that if you need a little bit of makeup, I'm going to be here to do it for you," said Aponte, who got the idea after her own battle.

At the age of 32, Aponte was three months pregnant, and doctors told her she only had three months to live.

"It was cancer in stage four. It went from my breast to my liver," said Aponte.

That was almost four years ago. Now that she has beaten the odds, she is opening the salon to give other people hope.

"I promised God if he gave me the opportunity to see my kids grow up, that I was going to give my time to help other people to cope with the pain of having cancer in your life," she said.

There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but Aponte is set to celebrate her grand opening next week.

The two other businesses set to open are La Cocina Mexicana II, and Eroz Pizzeria & Grill.  Both stores will be located in the food court.

La Cocina Mexicana II, offering authentic Mexican food, will feature decor made in and shipped from Mexico, as well as a mural hand-painted by local artist Luis E. Beltran, a student of art education at Kutztown University.

Eroz Pizzeria & Grill, located next to Subway, will offer delivery of its pizza, sandwiches and other menu items outside the mall.

Plans for the mall's food court, located near the Cinema Center, were first unveiled in April 2009.