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BuddyCheck: Helping Cancer Patients Look Good and Feel Better

FRESNO, Calif. -  

    When you look good, it can make you feel better.

    From applying lip liner, to applying a bright colored lipstick.

    For cancer patients undergoing treatment for a serious disease, looking good is therapeutic.  "If you feel better about how you look, you feel like you're not overcome by the disease," says Melanie Williams of Madera Ranchos.  Melanie found her own cancer in February.  She's now two months into treatment.  She's a teacher and preparing to go back to work.  She attended the American Cancer Society's "Look Good Feel Better" session in Fresno so she'll be ready for her students.  "Over the summer I thought I needed to kind of have a little.. feel better about how I look," she says.

   "Look Good Feel Better" is a free program offered to cancer patients by the Cancer Society.  It's a nationwide program that utilizes volunteers like Kim Nurss, who owned a wig shop in Fresno for 43 years.  She's been a volunteer for "Look Good Feel Better" for 27 years, and won a national award for her service.  "When they come in, they're usually a little depressed and sad.  But when we do two hours of this wonderful program, they smiles.  They're happy," she says.

   Attendees receive a free make-up kit valued at $300, wig techniques, and scarf styling tips-- all geared to address the needs of cancer patients.  "Pampering them.  How to put make-up and all that.  And they also can talk each other.  Some people started, some people middle, some almost done.  So they're really bonding.  Talking their experience," Nurss says.

   Recovering from cancer is not easy, it's a fight.  There's hair loss and skin changes that can impact self esteem.  "Look Good Feel Better" is a help.  "It makes your outlook better,  like there's hope at the end," says Melanie.


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