Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick • Somerset

Diva for the Day Program Launched

October 11, 2010
It was the perfect day of pampering – a massage and facial followed by a gourmet lunch, manicure and pedicure at a luxurious spa topped off with two stunning bouquets of white roses.

“I felt like a movie star,” said Nevia Carrero of Bridgewater who has been undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer at Somerset Medical Center’s Steeplechase Cancer Center for the past three years. “It was a great way to escape from everyday life and just let go.”

Carrero was the first recipient of the “Diva for the Day” program, a collaboration between Somerset Medical Center, Cenergie Spa in Basking Ridge and the American Cancer Society. 
Each month, a patient at Somerset Medical Center’s Steeplechase Cancer Center is selected for a special spa day at Cenergie Spa. Spa owners Dr. Elaine Montouris and Dan Donlevie provide lunch and all beauty products and spa staff volunteer their time and services. Transportation to and from the spa is provided by the American Cancer Society.

The “Diva for the Day” program was the brainchild of breast cancer survivors Peggy Matzen of Basking Ridge and Debbie Sestokas of Warren who are healing touch volunteers at The Steeplechase Cancer Center.

“We were inspired by the amazing spirits and journeys of the patients we have come to know at The Steeplechase Cancer Center,” Matzen said. “We wanted to be able to treat them to something special.”

“We wanted to give something back because they give us so much,” added Sestokas.

When Matzen and Sestokas approached Dr. Montouris about partnering with Cenergie Spa on “Diva for the Day,” the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“We were thrilled to be asked to participate in this,” Dr. Montouris said. “A day at the spa can help people with cancer forget about being sick – here they’re just like everybody else. Being pampered helps lift their spirits and gives them hope.”

“On behalf of all of our patients, we extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to everyone who has made the ‘Diva for the Day’ program possible,” said Katrina Losa, director of The Steeplechase Cancer Center. “When you feel beautiful, you feel better about yourself. That positive attitude and outlook is so important to patients who are coping with a cancer diagnosis.” 

The Steeplechase Cancer Center at Somerset Medical Center has been designated as a “Comprehensive Cancer Center” by the American College of Surgeons, offering a full range of outpatient services such as mammography, radiation oncology, chemotherapy, access to clinical research studies, genetic counseling, complementary medicine programs, nutritional counseling and certified wig and prosthetic fittings. For more information about The Steeplechase Cancer Center, visit www.steeplechasecancercenter.com or call 866-742-5762.