HOUSTON --It's hard to be a tween-age girl. Your body's changing, boys start to become interesting, and kids can be mean. Then, add cancer into the mix. After a leukemia diagnosis, Peyton and Ellie had to grow up fast.
Suddenly, their problems became very adult: spinal taps and chemotherapy. After a year of fighting a battle against their cancers, a day of fun and facials were in order all thanks to a Houston charity group and local spa.
One of the most difficult moments of Carrie Richardson's life was learning her 12-year-old daughter Peyton had leukemia.
"The only word I can use to describe this journey is painful because our girls are at this age, and they're middle school girls, and nobody wants to be going through what they're going through, and as parents, we're helpless to fix this," said Richardson.
Shortly after, Carrie Fetner heard the same news about her daughter, Ellie.
"It's a helpless feeling, really," explained Fetner.
Both moms met at Texas Children's Hospital while their daughters were undergoing treatment; a treatment that made the girls fast friends.
"Peyton lost her hair first, and then Ellie's hair started coming out. They've been through spinal taps together. They've been through intense chemo therapy when they're at the hospital week in and week out," added Richardson.
Going through cancer together created a bond between Peyton and Ellie.
"They know what they're going through. They don't even talk about it. They get each other," said Fetner.
Both Peyton's and Ellie's families are part of the charity organization Candlelighters.
"What Candlelighters does is provide support for pediatric cancer families because what the cancer does, what our girls are going through is incredibly difficult," said Richardson.
Candlelighters partnered with Me2 Beauty Bar in the Galleria to give the girls a special spa day. Me2 caters to 11 to 18 year-old tweens and teens, giving them a special place to get to be pampered.
"I think Peyton and Ellie should be treated like any other girl, and they are today," explained M2 Beauty Bar owner Melynda Dunn.
"I was really excited about coming here. It was nice to see her outside of the hospital," Ellie said about her pal, Peyton.
The girls haven't been able to get manicures and pedicures because of the threat of infection but they got to indulge in the services today.
"I had my nails and toes done, and I got tiffany blue and sparkly because these are my favorite colors," said Peyton.
"I have blue - I don't know what kind of blue, but blue," added Ellie.
They even got facials!
"It's really fun because we don't get to do this very often right now, and we don't get to do it together. I know I was really excited to come today," said Peyton, and Ellie was, too.