Helping cancer patients look good and feel better
Helen Zimmerman was diagnosed with cancer last October. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation and she, like many women going through treatment, she lost all her hair.
"You don't realize how emotional that's going to be," Zimmerman said. "So when my hair came out I was much more emotional than I expected to be. So I was really glad ... my daughter came with me and we picked out a wig before I lost my hair, which really to me helped a lot because then I had it ready to go."
Zimmerman's situation is exactly why Blessing Hospital's Cancer Center offers the "Look Good ... Feel Better" program to its patients.
"I actually help them, teach them to put on their eyebrows and a lot of times they get a lot of dark spots so we teach them how to cover those up," Tara Knoche, a Look Good ... Feel Better cosmetologist said. "And when we finish them, we bring them into the wig room after their makeup is supplied and it's like a whole different person."
But you won't only take away makeup techniques when you go through the program.
"It's more than just to replace your hair," Zimmerman said. "It's really a benefit for your self esteem and to keep some of your identity."
"I know that the participants take home courage, they take home caring, they take home a sense of community and they take home confidence and that's what it's all about for us," Bonnie Kleissle, the Blessing Hospital Cancer Center program director, said.
They also get to take home a Look Good ... Feel Better makeup bag that has everything from lipstick to cover up, all donated by cosmetic companies. Even with all the free products the most important thing Zimmerman took home from the program was hope.
"You know this is a place you don't ever want to have to have, but when you need it, you're really glad it's here," Zimmerman said.
The Look Good ... Feel Better program is offered in partnership with the American Cancer Society, the National Cosmetology Association and The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association Foundation.
To learn more about the program, click here.