The first time I met Lisa Vingerling, was with Jimmy Rumba. Yes, that’s his name, Jimmy Rumba. He was teaching a party of twenty young, beautiful women how to Salsa Dance. Some women had long hair, some short and some none at all. But everyone was grooving and moving to the Latin music and laughing as they did.
Lisa is the founder of Pink Heals, a unique group that shows women under 40 that there IS life after cancer. That was Lisa’s answer when I asked her the goal of her non-profit. In Lisa’s words, “Being young and having cancer, is really an isolating experience, because the issues you face are very different than the issues faced by older women. Pink Heals confirms that there is life after cancer. Normal life. It will never the same as it was before, but in some ways, it’s better. You will get past it. You will stop thinking about cancer all day, every day. And you will become a better, stronger, more beautiful version of your former self. “
So how does Pink Heals accomplish lofty goals like helping young women have a renewed sense of self? What does this organization do to establish confidence and an ability to laugh, smile and enjoy everyday? The group approaches life after cancer in many different ways. Mostly just bringing women together and doing things that make them laugh and talk and learn more about their new normal. They dance, cook, learn about photography, party planning, and much, much more.
One special experience is Beauty & Bubbly. Lisa’s close friend, Robert Williams, asked her if he could help these young women feel beautiful. Robert is a talented makeup artist at SAKS in Buckhead. He organizes a bi-monthly event that invites under-40 cancer survivors to a glamorous makeup session conducted by skilled Dior and Trish McEvoy colleagues. A makeover, sparkling wine and a pink cupcake or two makes this event an incredibly special event.
Lisa’s positive attitude is contagious. Still in her early 30’s she means a great deal to me, as well as many young women in our community facing challenges that seem overwhelming. I’ve had the privilege of working with Pink Heals – here is a recipe that we have all enjoyed making and eating together.
Individual Whole Wheat Pizzas
1½ Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1½ Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Package QUICK-RISING Yeast
1½ Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Sugar
1 1/3 Cup Hot Water (110 -120F)
4 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Crank your oven up to 500F. Combine the Flours, Yeast, Salt and Sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Combine the water and oil in a measuring cup. Slowly drizzle the mixture into the processor with the motor running until it forms a sticky ball - the dough will be REALLY soft and sticky.
Plop it out on a lightly floured surface. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place it sprayed side down on the dough and let it rest for 15 - 20 minutes before preparing.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 10 balls. Pat each ball into a pizza. Spread on your choice of toppings and bake until the crust is crisp and golden about 10-12 minutes.
Roasted Red Peppers
This article originally appeared in the April 15th Edition of the Buckhead Patch at www.buckheadpatch.com