Look Good and Feel Better – News From the American Cancer Society SCV Unit
Any woman who has undergone chemotherapy and/or radiation for cancer will concur that such interventions can take a tremendous toll on one’s appearance, stamina and outlook. Skin and weight changes, hair loss, reduced self-esteem and fatigue are among the associated effects.
For 26 years the Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) program has helped many thousands of women going through cancer to do just that – look good and feel better. Made possible through a generous collaboration of the Personal Products Council Foundation, The American Cancer Society and the Professional Beauty Association, its services are provided nationally via many delivery outlets, including the American Cancer Society Santa Clarita Valley Unit. With its free group workshops, the program offers products donated by cosmetic industry companies and trained volunteer cosmetologists, who facilitate patients in recreating their normal appearance or finding a “new normal” to enjoy and maintain.
Janine Jones, an ACS SCV Unit Leadership Council member and trained LGFB program facilitator, credits the workshops with helping women find their smiles and empowerment again.
“This is such a worthy program,” said Jones, a licensed cosmetologist who gives considerable volunteer time to supporting ACS. “Cancer can take a devastating toll on a woman’s appearance and how she feels about herself and her future.”
The program, held on the campus of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, helps women in many ways, Jones said.
“We accomplish this through face makeup application and contouring, special skin and nail care advice, demonstrating coping methods for hair loss, ways to camouflage infusion ports and much more,” she explained.
Jones understands the effects of cancer. Her mother, Sheila Veloz, battled metastatic breast cancer for nearly five years until she died at age 59. Jones’ own 20-year-old daughter Bailey underwent thyroid cancer surgery this year.
“I know what cancer does to people,” Jones said. “If I can bring joy to a client’s face and know she’s pleased with her new look, I’m ecstatic. LGFB transforms women in such a positive way, lifting hearts and attitudes.”
Supported by 150 companies, LGFB’s impact is tremendous: Each year the program helps 50,000 women; about 150,000 hours are donated by volunteers; 15,000 workshops are held across United States.
Kathleen McGraw, another devoted ACS SCV Unit LGFB facilitator, often works with Jones in sharing their expertise by demonstrating makeup tips, skin care products, turban applications and the use of wigs. (Note: The ACS provides free beautiful, brand-new wigs to women undergoing cancer treatment. The wigs are available through our ACS SCV Unit.)
A massage therapist and licensed esthetician, McGraw has also experienced cancer through loved ones’ health battles. This has strengthened her conviction to support ACS, help those affected by the disease and stick around.
“Sadly, my grandmother had breast cancer and died at 49, and my mother died at 59 from cervical cancer. I give back for them. And I’ll be damned if I’ll die at 69,” said McGraw, owner of Dermal Dynamics.
Look Good Feel Better workshops are held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Pavilion Building at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, 25727 McBean Parkway, Valencia, 91355. The remaining 2016 dates: Aug. 9, Oct. 11, and Dec.13. Plans for additional workshops during the daytime are underway for 2017.
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.
At-home materials are available for men dealing with cancer-related appearance changes. Information is online www.atlookgoodfeelbetterformen.org under Programs. There is also a Look Good Feel Better for Men brochure (item #4663.76), which can be ordered through the Look Good Feel Better toll-free number, 1-800-395-LOOK (5665), or through your local American Cancer Society office.
The brochure is for men who are getting chemotherapy or radiation treatment. It gives them information on how to deal with the way treatment and side effects can change the way they look, as well as other useful information.
For further information call the ACS SCV office at 661-298-0886 option 3. Address: 25020 Avenue Stanford #170, Valencia, 91355. You may also the ACS 24/7 at 800-227-2345 and visit its web site www.cancer.org.
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