Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013
Cancer Outreach Program Helps Change Lives
WILLIAMSON COUNTY-- The Look Good, Feel Better initiative empowers women, giving them hope for the future.
The nationwide program helps thousands of women diagnosed with cancer each year. The American Cancer Society (ACS) in Carterville sponsors it in our area.
"It's a big part of the healing process. If they look better, feel better when they look in that mirror, it's gonna give you a better outlook," volunteer Cynthia Parks enthused.
Their mission is to help improve the self-esteem and quality of life of women undergoing cancer treatments. Guests are given hundreds of dollars worth of new makeup, since old products are thrown out once chemo therapy starts. The program also provides wigs and head coverings while offering beauty tips
"Makes them ready to go out. A lot of them wouldn't even go out to lunch or anywhere, even to church, it just makes them feel better," said Parks.
The program builds camaraderie between women fighting for their lives.
"A lot of times they talk about things to each other they wouldn't even tell their husband."
It's therapeutic for many, who find it to be a safe place to fall.
"Some people don't understand that, but I think laughter helps just as much as the sobbing and crying, sometimes even more," Parks explained.
Those who have been through the process also support others just starting their journey. It helps women realize they're not alone.
The program started in 1989, and since then, they've transformed countless lives. Monthly meetings are held in Carterville, and bi-monthly times are offered in Carbondale.
They're looking for more volunteers. Any certified cosmetologist can be trained. Survivors and family of cancer patients say helping out is therapeutic for them, too.
To learn more about the program, visit lookgoodfeelbetter.org or call the American Cancer Society at (618) 998-9898.
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