Arlene Wong King
“This is a very personal story for me and it’s one that I’ve not shared with a broader audience given the depth of sadness and grief it brought to my life unexpectedly. However after much reflection and gratitude for my life I’ve decided to share this personal story with you.”
My dear mother Arlene was suffering from a life threatening illness and after just a few weeks of cancer fighting chemotherapy treatments not only did her body decline rapidly I noticed that her skin showed significant dryness, flaking and overall deterioration.
I said goodbye to my mom that following year and it stuck in the back of my mind that something was really off with her skin.
My mom Arlene grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and was of Chinese background. She moved to New York City to pursue a Masters in Education after finishing her undergraduate degree at Oregon State University. My mother was very private and as a result most of her friends and family members never truly knew the story of this year of her saying goodbye. Below is our story as best as I can recall because it was a period of my life that remains a bit foggy and was a year long whirlwind.
Mom & her friends who were also from Hawaii prepare for hula and singing at Columbia University in New York City where she met my dad, Kenneth.
Mom & Dad were married in 1963 in East Orange New Jersey where I grew up.
I stayed close to home after finishing school, especially since I enjoyed being able to visit my parents fairly often. As a result, my mom’s first indications of illness were identified during one of these visits home. We had just returned from a family holiday trip to China, my mom's first visit to the birthplace of her grandparents. A few weeks after our return, my friendCarla Hall suggested a family day of brunch at the Red Rooster in Harlem and then attending the theater to see Motown on Broadway.
We had a few blocks to walk from the theater to my home when mom complained that she was a bit winded and not able to walk as quickly. All through China she was fine, so given this I decided to go and visit her the following weekend to check on how she was doing. She had also phoned me to say that her primary care, to her surprise, determined that she had diabetes so after her shock wore off she was immediately placed on insulin and we shifted her diet.
When I arrived that next weekend, I noticed that her eyes were luminous and just a tad yellow, so I went home and asked my physician husband what this could be. I phoned my dad who, even though they were now divorced, I asked to stop by to take a closer look and he confirmed that he saw what I saw, but he said that otherwise she seemed fine. My husband suggested that I go back the next day to take a picture. Upon seeing the photo, my husband said this looked like jaundice. We immediately spoke with the gastroenterologist to get her into an appointment sooner (which she had delayed given the trip to China) and that day she was able to see her primary care physician who ordered tests and other scans. After a PET scan the diagnosis was clear; the appointment with an oncologist established an undetermined timeline for how long she would live.
After one sees an oncologist their primary objective is to attack the problem using a range of medications, many quite debilitating, and my mom’s approach was to try and balance her acceptance of western and eastern medicine. Mom did decide to undergo chemotherapy, but after just a few weeks of this toxic medicine she had had enough and made the decision to live with a better quality of life than to continue.
During these initial weeks of chemotherapy I saw the rapid deterioration that happened to my mother’s skin and body. My mom was always a fan of a foot and hand massage, so I went into action using my beauty background to find skincare products that could work more effectively to hydrate and calm my mom’s skin when I massaged her during these chemo sessions. However, everything I tried would only provide a surface fix and I became increasingly frustrated because I could not believe that there was nothing to solve her particular skin problems.
This nugget of a challenge sat in the back of my mind as my co-founder Celeste and I asked questions, tried tons of products and finally uncovered the dramatic effects of hormone decline on the skin with our scientists. With a better understanding that physically the skin thins over time though it's loss of hydration and firmness all due to this decline in hormones proved to be the ‘ah ha’ moment that propelled us forward to create Caire.
Our passion for wanting to help others who were experiencing the same problems with skin care products helped lead to the creation of Caire’s formulation focus; the heart of the formula uses the highest quality of standards to assure those that we really deliver on our promises. We use only the best quality ingredients without delivering a bunch of chemicals and unnecessary elements into your skin. Lots of people can select ingredients, but what you don’t realize is that an excellence in science approach through how a product is formulated is the magic wand that helps the product to perform at a superior level. Since we create our formulas in our lab with our science partners, we are not creating this in a 3rd party facility and are not copying anyone. I know my mom would be proud.
The King Family
We were fortunate to have my mom provide the lifetime of guidance that shaped me and my siblings. Her heart is in this brand and when I received the customer review below I just knew that this story should be shared with you.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started using this product. I have had very dry skin my whole life and I have been recently diagnosed with appendix cancer. The chemo medicine dehydrates terribly. This serum is keeping my skin hydrated and smooth. This journey will be long and I am so happy I stumbled upon Caire beauty.
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