Relay For Life Funds Help Local Cancer Patients With Looks, Self-Esteem

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The Payson Senior Circle is providing a home and point of contact for the American Cancer Society's "Look Good ... Feel Better" program.

This is one of the many ACS programs that bring money from fund-raisers, such as the recent Relay for Life, back into the communities where it was collected.

Certified cosmetologists volunteer their time and talents to help female cancer patients improve their appearance and self-image by teaching them makeup and skin care techniques. Patients also learn how to properly care for skin and nails made fragile by cancer treatment, and disguise hair loss using wigs, turbans and scarves.

The sessions and materials are provided free of charge.

The American Cancer Society's first Look Good ... Feel Better program for residents in Payson and surrounding communities was held in early June. Guided by the volunteer cosmetologists, Tina, a young woman dealing with cancer, learned how to use makeup and skin care techniques to overcome the appearance-related effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

"It was a great program," Tina said. "The two women who worked with me knew a lot and made you feel special."

Tina said she received a free bag of high-end, designer makeup and a wig in her two-hour session.

"Because I'm younger, I didn't think they were going to have the right kind of wig for me," Tina said. "I used to have really long hair. They bought this pageboy-style wig for me and it looked so good. I was thrilled."

Everyone who has seen her in the wig says it really looks good, she said. "The experience was so much fun and hearing all the wonderful compliments is fun, too."

Tina said she would recommend the program to any woman of any age dealing with cancer.

She is continuing to use the makeup every day and finds it lifts her spirits.

"It's a real boost to your self-esteem, too," Tina said. "I wish more people would go."

Kathy Coombes, Senior Circle Advisor, said, "I could see she was an attractive woman, but seeing the difference the program made in Tina's outlook was one of the most uplifting experiences I've had since joining the Senior Circle."

"The class gave me a feeling of wellness and made a big difference in my motivation level," says Joyce L., a former Look Good ... Feel Better participant. "After applying the right make-up to enhance my color, I could feel good again about the way I looked. I had my confidence back."

"Look Good ... Feel Better is as much about improving and maintaining self-image and confidence, as it is about appearance," said Barbie Patterson. "Patients enjoy the opportunity to spend time in a relaxed, non-medical."

The program will be held at Payson Senior Circle at 215 N. Beeline Highway on the second Tuesday, by appointment. To register, or for additional information, please call (928) 474-2110.

The Senior Circle has a large selection of materials available for Rim Country residents dealing with cancer.

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