Renew Beauty and Body collects beauty products bottles to benefit cancer research

Published 9:21 am Thursday, May 9, 2019

NILES — Instead of tossing the next empty shampoo bottle or toothpaste tube in the trash, residents can help a local business fight cancer and benefit the environment.

Valerie Fordyce, the owner of Renew Beauty and Body, is collecting beauty product and hygiene product containers and bottles to donate to the Dragon Master Foundation’s Recycle for Research program. After collection, the materials are shipped to the foundation and proceeds from the recycled products go toward its mission, namely to fund research that seeks to find a cure for brain tumors.

Fordyce will collect donations during her business hours from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at her business, 224 E. Main St. She expects to do the collection continuously. Those who bring in 10 items can get a free haircut.

Fordyce started the collection initiative to spread awareness about the Dragon Master Foundation. Fordyce said her interest in the organization began when someone in her life had a tumor. She stumbled across the Dragon Master Foundation on social media and said she felt research to fight brain cancer needed more awareness.

“I was realizing that not many people around here know about it,” Fordyce said. “I thought this would be a good opportunity.” 

The Dragon Master Foundation was inspired by 16-year-old David Pearson, who died from a brain tumor. Pearson’s mother and stepfather founded the nonprofit to contribute to research that can “tame the dragon that is cancer,” the website reads.

To do her part, Fordyce has started recycling the containers of the products she uses at Renew Beauty and Body and shipping them to the Dragon Master Foundation.

Fordyce is a licensed massage and skin therapist. She has owned and operated Renew Beauty and Body for the last three years in downtown Niles. Renew Beauty and Body is a day spa, where customers can find massages, facials, pedicures, hair services and makeovers and light therapy treatments.

A desire to help people feel beautiful inside and out was her major draw to the industry, she said.

“Wellness and beauty go hand in hand,” Fordyce said. “[My business] is like natural meets clinical.”

Fordyce grew up in the Mishawaka area. She has lived in Niles for 21 years and said she wanted to keep her business local.

“I just wanted to make it available,” Fordyce said. “I love downtown.”

With the chance to turn their recyclables into cancer research, Fordyce encouraged community members to donate.

“We accumulate too much trash. So, why not have it go somewhere that can help people? It’s a win-win situation,” Fordyce said.

A list of recyclable materials accepted can be found on the Dragon Master Foundation’s website at under the get involved tab. Metal and glass containers will not be collected. To learn more about Renew Beauty and Body, people can visit