Metro Giving: Beauty in a time of illness

Rikki Appleman just finished radiation therapy.

Welcome back to Metro Giving! Every other Tuesday, Metro features New Yorkers who have decided to make a difference in their community, plus ways you can get involved and help out. Want to recommend someone to be featured in Metro Giving? E-mail charity@metro.us

In 1997, makeup artist Ramy Gafni had achieved what he thought was the peak of his career. He was employed at a top Fifth Avenue salon and had just started to work with celebrity clients.

Then, at the age of 31, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Chemo made him lose his thick curly hair. He gained 30 pounds. And then the final indignity: The salon fired him, saying, “You’re not the pretty boy we once hired.”

That was all the motivation Gafni needed. He launched his own brand of cosmetics out of his studio apartment. Allure magazine praised his work in eyebrow shaping. By the time his products were sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Gafni knew he had made it.

Now he works with everyone from Taylor Swift to Rihanna.

But he hasn’t forgotten a time when he felt less than beautiful.

“You’re going through treatment, your hair is falling out and suddenly there’s a stranger staring at you in the mirror,” he said of cancer.

For the past 10 years, Gafni has taught classes at CancerCare on Seventh Avenue. He provides free wigs and makeup consultations for women battling the disease.

“People think the cosmetic industry can be so superficial, but it’s really about doing something really powerful that helps people,” he said.

“When you’re fighting for your life, you want to use every tool at your disposal,”?he added. “And that includes the right blush and concealer.”

Donate and win

Gafni is trying to raise $20,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society. If you donate through www.ramy.com, you will be eligible to win
prizes ranging from a year of free brow-shaping, $1,400 worth of
free products or a free home or spa makeup party.

Follow Carly Baldwin on Twitter at @CarlyatMetro.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Local

PHOTOS: More than $12 million in heroin, crystal…

Authorities seized more than 44 pounds of heroin and 17 pounds of crystal meth from two stash houses this week during a Manhattan drug bust.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

Wellbeing

Oh baby: Scientists find protein that lets egg…

By Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) - You can forget about the birds and the bees. If you really want to learn how babies are made, you…

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.