Breast cancer survivors thrive at SK Sanctuary events


By Marti Gacioch

Many women use spa services to gain the powerful benefits of relaxation and healing that such a visit can bring. And perhaps no woman can benefit more from such pampering than a breast cancer survivor. With that thought in mind, La Jolla plastic surgeon, Dr. Stephen M. Krant, M.D., F.A.C. and his wife, Lyn Krant, owners of La Jolla’s SK Sanctuary, open their 7,000 square foot spa every other month to 35 breast cancer survivors for a complimentary evening of spa services.

“Lyn and I started these survivor nights in 2001 with 13 of my breast cancer reconstructive patients,” Dr. Krant said. “I had always wanted to do a support group for my patients, so once we opened SK Sanctuary, it was the perfect venue.”

Survivor Night begins with the attendees slipping into SK spa robes before sampling food and drink as they mix with other survivors and share experiences. Each woman can choose from a selection of services, including a facial, hair styling, makeup, pedicure, and manicure or manual lymphatic drainage.

“Each woman must have a letter from her physician before receiving services, and the women walk out feeling pampered and good about themselves,” Dr. Krant said. “It’s truly a night of nurturing for them.”

The Krant’s initial effort has evolved into their non-profit SK Institute that focuses on education and support, and helps fund the Survivor Nights. So far, they’ve treated 3,500 breast cancer survivors and different groups to spa night, and this October they’ll treat 35 women from the Young Survivors Coalition.

“All of them are under age 40 and it is mind boggling to see a woman walking around with her wig on, and then 20 minutes later see her walking around bald because she has the courage and the security because she’s surrounded by her peer group and now she feels comfortable,” Dr. Krant said.

Survivor Night often features guest speakers, including radio and TV personalities, research scientists, oncologists and breast cancer survivors, such as Mattie Mills, lead singer of The Heroes. Entertainment has included belly dancers, Tibetan drummers, line dancing and a hula luau.

While Survivor Night is fully booked for the July 31 event, breast cancer survivors can still sign up for the September evening at (858) 459-2400.

To contribute to Survivor Night, call the SK Institute at (858) 459-3334 or visit or write

The SK Sanctuary is at 6919 La Jolla Blvd.