Reporter: Shannon Samson
The American Cancer Society knows looking good and feeling good often go hand in hand. So they've designed one of their programs to cater to both of those needs for cancer patients.
A life-threatening illness certainly puts things in perspective and for many, it's one time in their lives they can stop worrying about their appearance. But the American Cancer Society thinks it's exactly the time for a little vanity and a little pampering.
It's an early Christmas present for these cancer patients. The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association donates boxes of top of the line products to the "Look Good, Feel Better" program. Diagnosed with breast cancer just a few weeks ago, Chris Dobrzynski will start her first round of chemotherapy in a matter of days. You'd think her appearance would be the last thing on her mind, but here she's encouraged to make it a priority. Program coordinator Dorothy Happe says, "It just makes them feel better because otherwise they just look like they're sick and they don't want to look sick. They want to look like they're getting healthy and being well."
Area cosmetologists volunteer their time offering beauty tips. Chuck Weathers is one of those volunteers. "They want to avoid putting on anything that has alcohol in it, because that alcohol is going to absorb and take away the moisture out of their skin."
Moisture already robbed by chemotherapy and radiation. Chris isn't looking forward to what those treatments will do to her hair either. "I've already purchased a wig and that's one thing I'm worried about is how to style the darn thing." The program helps with that too. It's one less thing to worry about at a time when there's so much to think about.
Breast cancer patient Marianne Wenzel says, "You know, there's the medical side of it. There's also the psychological, social and spiritual side of it too. You have to pay attention to all of it if you're going to win the war." A war fought not just with mascara wands and lipstick, but kind words and encouragement too.