Friday, May 10, 2013

Cancer survivor gives back to nurses

Tim Quinn puts his hands on his hips and smiles as he surveys the Lawrence House conference room, his pink dress shirt matching the bright magenta scarves and ties of the 12 professional makeup artists busy at work. Brushes of all sizes spill from black leather bags, and tubes of foundation, eye shadows and an array of lipsticks and glosses are spread across every surface in the room. Amid it all, MGH nurses hold mirrors watching as the stylists paint, brush and swipe color across their faces.

“All of these artists volunteer to come and do this,” says the celebrity makeup artist and national director of Creative Artistry for Giorgio Armani Beauty. “They are so happy to be able to come here – we all love it. This really just makes us feel good to give nurses a fun afternoon.”

More than 60 MGH Cancer Center nurses took part in this year’s May 8 makeover event, the second one Quinn has hosted as a way to thank the oncology staff for the care he received while undergoing treatment for testicular cancer in 2007. “The nurses I had were these amazing people, and it’s great that we can do this to take them away for just a moment,” he says. “I could never do that job. It’s just incredible what they do here every single day.”

Quinn slides his arm around Kathleen Donahue, RN, of Radiation-Oncology, one of his former nurses – and now friend – and they share a laugh, as an artist applies a dash of blush to her cheeks. “I think it’s a great opportunity for nurses to be slightly indulged,” Donahue says. “It’s always a wonderful treat to be here.”

Photographs are taken of each attendee before and after their 30-minute pampering session, and each walks away with a bag of Giorgio Armani products. Quinn says he looks forward to hosting future makeover events at the MGH. “I travel all over the world, and there is always this connection between people,” he says. “Every time I mention Mass General, someone knows someone who has been here. It’s really just unbelievable what this hospital does.” 

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