Danny Alotta is empowering teens and young adults as they wage their war against cancer through the power of fashion, by providing them with makeovers.
Since the fall of 2013, Danny and his team have completed makeovers at approximately 20 events.
“I got diagnosed with cancer my senior year of high school and gave myself periodic makeovers to boost my spirits,” Danny tells Kindness and Hope. “This is where the inspiration came from.
“Typically we makeover approximately 20 young people at our events. Since we offer hair, makeup, nails, photo & video, we have quite a lot of people that assist as well. Sometimes we can have as many people or even more people helping with the makeovers than actual makeover participants.”
Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease as a senior in high school, the day Danny walked out the door for his first treatment, he said to his parents “It’s time for my Joy Juice!” Believing if he looked good, he’d feel good.
In a bid to instill hope in others, he formed Joy Juice, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
“Joy Juice is the nickname I gave chemotherapy,” Danny relays.
The makeovers are emotionally-charged (as you will see from the clip below), on so many levels.
And, there are challenges.
“To start with, we work with young people that have cancer so their health is our number one priority,” Danny explains. “From a logistics perspective, believe it or not finding hospitals to partner with is the biggest challenge. One of the major hospitals here in New York City actually told me I had to pay them to do an event.”
As to be expected, there are heart-rendering moment, too.
” This past year, three of our makeover participants passed away,” he says. “That is part of the reality of working with cancer patients. However, most of the heart- rendering moments are good. I’ve received amazing letters from both parents and children. During one of our events, one of the young men told me that ‘Today’s event was as important if not more important than the medicine he was getting.’ It was so overwhelmingly humbling to hear him say that!'”
Danny is in great heath now and has the understanding that his journey is helping so many others get through what is arguably their toughest life battle.
His motto in life is fitting to his soul that is nothing but kind, generous and compassionate.
“No matter what you achieve in life, always remember someone helped you get there,” he says. “And… Try to make the world a better place one smile at a time!”
As for Kindness and Hope, Danny says: “Kindness is what we should all treat each other with. If there were more kindness in the world, the world would be better place. As for Hope… as long as you have hope, anything is possible.”
Help provide these children with both kindness and hope by donating to help facilitate more makeovers, by clicking HERE,
Danny’s book, detailing his navigation through the brutalities of cancer, ” Joy Juice – A young man’s story about chemo, cancer & good fortune” is available HERE.