Beauty, Bravery and Blessings – an HB Mom’s Heartfelt Salon Day


I first met Jacque Balbas-Ruddy when I wrote about her in September.  She had recently been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer and as the courageous, vibrant fighter told me then, “In a way, getting breast cancer the first time was one of the most amazing things that ever happened to me,” she said as we drove. “Without it, I’d never have met the most incredible people or would be in a position to help others like this.”


She’s the mother of four and is a single parent. She is going to school to get a degree in psychology. And she will not let the next year of treatments prevent that, or keep her from being a team mom, or from anything else in her life.


But she did know the chemotherapy treatments would take their physical toll and so today she brought together a group of family and friends to a Fountain Valley hair salon to ceremonially shave her head in advance of the side effects. Inspiring as always, Jacque led the group in a prayer circle, then sat in front of a mirror and, with both her son’s help, did what she wanted to do.


She was bright-eyed as ever, positive and upbeat, and she held everyone together. This remarkable woman is juggling a myriad of issues as she goes through this, but she soldiers on each day with endless smiles and warmth.There is never any self-pity from Jacque, just selfless strength for those around her, especially her young boys.

As we enter the holiday season, I will be posting ways here that we can help she and her kids, but in the meantime, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.


Categories: Uncategorized | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Beauty, Bravery and Blessings – an HB Mom’s Heartfelt Salon Day

  1. Elaine Parker

    WOW what an inspirational story


    • You posted your comment after Chris shared a little of my journey. I just wanted to say thank you! I has been a challenging year! I graduated with a degree in psychology and am beginning a graduate program at USC in a few weeks!


  2. Jacquie Vivanco

    Hi my name is Jacquie which is very close to the way yours is spelled.I am also a single parent of two boys around the same age.
    Reading your story takes me back to when I had recurrence of breast cancer. I am now stage 4 and have been for 7 yrs. You look like a happy, positive person who get through this with ease.
    It’s beautiful to see all the love & support it will help immensely.I hope to meet you at one of the Living Beauty events.
    Congratulations on your beautiful celebration !!
    Jacquie Vivanco


    • Hello Jacquie. I apologize for not responding to your comment on the story last year. I am only just reading it. You posted your comment after Chris shared a little of my journey. I just wanted to say thank you! I has been a challenging year! I graduated with a degree in psychology and am beginning a graduate program at USC in a few weeks!

      We do seem to have much in common. I hope you are doing well. I will be at the Living Beauties event on August 20. Will you be there? I would love to meet you then. I will see if I can find you on FB. Please feel free to friend me.

      Blessings and joy to you today and all the days to follow! Jacque


    • Christie

      Hi Jacquie. I am, too, a single parent/TNBC Stage IV (as of September 2016) – first Dx’d January 2015, fighting ever since. Do you have TNBC? Would you mind sharing what supplements you take, alternative therapies you have found to be helpful? I went through this last year alone — I do not really want to do that again, and have been branching out, checking out these online posts. There does not seem to be one single resource for TNBC, in terms of finding other long-term survivors. I hope you are well and healthy, and I hope to hear from you. All my best, christie


      • Christie,

        I do not see that I sent a reply. It has been quite some time since you responded to the article about my recurrent breast cancer. I just returned from a trip to China in which I had the opportunity to study Chinese Traditional Medicine, Mindfulness, Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Eastern approach to holistic care. Please contact me at, if you would like to chat.

        Jacque Ruddy


  3. Jacquie Vivanco

    Hi Jacque Sorry I missed you at the Living Beauties event. I had committed myself to another event which took up most of my day. I hope to see you at the next event. Please keep me advised on any other cancer related events. I would like nothing more than to volunteer and/or attend so that I can stay in the loop with my survivor sisters.



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