Friends celebrate the career of one inspiring local man

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Updated: 2/25/2013 7:28 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & Friends and loved ones are celebrating the career of one local business owner who has impacted and inspired thousands.

Since he was a teen Alan Squailia has known he wanted to help cancer patients.

"When I was 15 my mother passed away from cancer and I watched what happened with her and how it effected her and as she was passing I said someday I was going to help cancer patients," Bellissima Beauty and Wig Salon Squailia says.

Squailia has owned Bellissima Beauty and Wig Salon since its inception 48 years ago.

A salon dedicated to helping people look good and feel better.

"It was a time in my life I never thought I would ever go through. I was perfectly healthy no cancer in my family whatsoever," Sherre Carnes Mesker says.

Both Sally de Lipco and Carnes Mesker are breast cancer survivors. Mesker was diagnosed ten years ago. De Lipco has battled cancer five times over the past 33 years. Both lost their hair during chemotherapy.

"When you lose your hair you think you're prepared for that, but actually that day you are bald it becomes clear that this is something serious and you really are sick," de Lipco says.

There battle with cancer is what brought both of these women to Bellisema Beauty and Wig Salon and Squaillia.

"He's not just selling a wig he's selling part of your treatment, part of your recovery," de Lipco says.

In their hardest, darkest of moments they had support and comfort from not the most likely of places. Both Sherre and Sally say Alan touched their lives in a way they can't describe and for that they are forever grateful.

"Every time I sit in that chair and he gives me the latest jokes he always has a joke. Sometimes I've heard them Alan before, but you know I laugh just as hard," de Lipco says.

Because laughter is another form of therapy and to Alan nothing makes the heart warmer than good friends, laughter, and memories.

"I think in those 48 years we've had a lot of people say how happy they were, but I've actually cheated everyone of them, because I got more out of it than they did," Squailia says.

Although he is handing over the scissors for the salon he will always be Mr. Bellissima.

Squailia's last day of work will be Thursday. Friends encourage anyone who would like to stop by Bellissima to say farewell.

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Paskahousu - 2/25/2013 10:28 AM
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What a sweetheart!

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