Local women celebrate sobriety with a new look

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Some special makeovers happened at Douglas J Aveda Institute in Grand Rapids Thursday, helping women who are battling addiction.

The women changed their lives over the past few months or years and now they're changing their look.

Nancy Akahi and Charlena Taylor are two of the five women taking part in the event, receiving a facial cleansing, massage, and a new hair-do, a welcome relief after a lifetime of struggle.

“I am so excited," said Akahi. "Totally grateful too.”

"This day is a blessing, it’s been a long time," said Taylor. “I never thought in my wildest dreams, this would come at the end or middle, or whatever part of my journey I’m on.”

Michael Baker, a former addict and recovery coach in West Michigan, helped plan the special day.

“These five ladies that were chosen said, 'Hey I want my face out there to show what recovery looks like'," said Baker.

Baker is paying it forward, not only to celebrate their success, but to show others recovery is possible.

“I know how the addiction looks, so do these ladies," said Baker. "They know how the addiction looks. It’s easy to get into, but it’s hard to get out of addiction. People think recovery is hard, but it’s the easiest step, you, yourself want to get recovery.”

Taylor said because of the support and guidance she's received, she's off drugs, living a healthier life, and no longer homeless.

“I never thought I’d become independent again, a place to live, and life to look forward to," said Taylor.

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