Many of us are familiar with the appearance side effects of cancer treatment, especially the loss of hair. The emotional impact these changes have on women living with cancer can be huge, yet there are few groups that help address this important element of treatment. However, over the past 25 years, the charitable program Look Good Feel Better has helped nearly 900,000 women undergoing cancer treatment improve their changed appearance, self-esteem, and outlook, giving them the ability to approach their disease and treatment with greater confidence.
Author and women's health advocate Geralyn Lucas and volunteer and beauty expert Linda Whitehurst are two women who have seen firsthand the appearance side effects of cancer and the difference Look Good Feel Better can make for those going through treatment.
If you or someone close to you has been impacted by cancer, you know that the appearance changes women undergo while coping with cancer treatment - like beauty itself - are far more than skin deep. These changes can impact a woman's self-esteem and sense of self at a time when she needs it the most. Twenty-five years ago, one doctor decided to make a difference. When a patient wouldn't leave her hospital bed because of her appearance following cancer treatment, he made a phone call to a friend in the beauty industry. Look Good Feel Better was born.
The Look Good Feel Better program offers free workshops that teach beauty techniques to help women cope with the appearance side effects of cancer treatment; thereby giving them self-confidence and helping them regain some normalcy in a life that is by no means normal.
- Look Good Feel Better has helped nearly 900,000 people with cancer the U.S. and nearly 1,500,000 people around the world.
- In the United States alone, the program now offers 15,800 group workshops nationwide in 2,400 locations.
- It is supported by 262 companies, most of whom are affiliated with the cosmetics industry, who provide financial, product and in-kind donations.
Look Good Feel Better is a collaboration of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the Professional Beauty Association.
Geralyn Lucas, Award-Winning Television Producer, Author and Women's Health Advocate
Geralyn is an award-winning television producer, author of Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, lecturer and women's health advocate. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27 and found herself facing a mastectomy - only one day after her 28th birthday. That morning, she decided to become a warrior. Her first weapon was the bright red lipstick she wore into the operating room. Her memoir, Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, became an Emmy® Award nominated Lifetime Original Movie, and Geralyn is currently working on her second book (Then Came Life, Gotham, 2014) and an original screenplay, a series and a documentary. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
Linda Whitehurst, 25-Year Look Good Feel Better Volunteer
Linda has been a Look Good Feel Better volunteer since 1990 and has seen the program and its participants evolve over the past quarter-century. During her time with Look Good Feel Better, Linda has served as a trainer, coordinator, volunteer and project director. In these roles, she has worked directly with women undergoing cancer treatment. She is passionate about helping women look good and feel better while undergoing cancer treatment and works tirelessly to promote and improve the Look Good Feel Better program so that more women have access to the support it offers. Linda serves as National Project Director for the Professional Beauty Association and is the owner of a local hair studio. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and enjoys spending time with her two children and five grandchildren.