Toronto woman helps change conversation surrounding cancer by taking on whole new look

At 57, Lezli Kuntze knows how to fight. She’s currently battling her second round of breast cancer in five years.

“In dealing with some gallbladder issues they accidentally stumbled across the fact that I had cancer again – this time it’s more aggressive cancer,” said Kuntze. “I have a long year ahead of me and it’s been interesting.”

Interesting is an understatement because this time around Kuntze is taking on cancer with a whole new look.

When she started her journey, she wanted to do something that made her feel comfortable, something that would help her to smile. Kuntze also wanted to make it easier on her children – especially on the not so great days. Head painting has done just that.

“She asked me to paint her head and I thought interesting, but why not,” said longtime friend and artist Susan Ambrose. “She said that she found a paint that was a body paint, actually it’s like make up, it’s water based and it’s safe.

“Well I thought let’s give it a try.”

“It’s kind of a way to help when you meet people. It breaks the ice and to me, that’s a big thing,” Kuntze said.

Her goal is to share with other cancer patients that there is a positive way to approach what life throws at you.

“I have had a lot of people say that it brings joy and kind of lights up the room,” said Kuntze. “We get to talking and sharing and comparing our journeys and it just makes it a little bit more fun in the midst of ick.”

Every five to seven days, Kuntze gets to have her head painted and Monday marks her 18th time.

“It also makes me feel good because I can do something for her,” said Ambrose. “I can’t fix her, but I can paint her head. So we have a lot of fun doing that.”

So for now, Kuntze with the help of her loving family and friend,s lives life one day at a time and in her words “in control.”

“To me it’s important to know that I made a difference, maybe in another cancer patient’s life,” said Kuntze. “To be able to help them find a way that they can make it through that makes the journey a little bit easier.”

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