Fully 86 percent of women with cancer say that looking good helps them feel better and gives them more confidence to cope with their disease, according to a 2002 survey. Now, helping those facing cancer and its treatment is another benefit NCA members can receive as volunteers in Look Good...Feel Better (LGFB).
One NCA member who has poured her heart and soul into this program is Rose Reynolds, a licensed cosmetologist and salon owner from Orchard Park, NY. "You never know what door will open," says Reynolds, who coordinates NCA's participation in LGFB. "My sister was battling breast cancer when I was approached by NCA to get involved on the LGFB planning committee in 1987. I thought if there was something I could learn from this program to help her, and my clients who were going through cancer, I wanted to do it.
Making a difference: Rose Reynolds
"Who knew that I would ever do this work?" Reynolds adds. "If I hadn't been a member of NCA, I never would have had this opportunity, which has shaped my life for nearly two decades."
With a passion for her profession and the avocation LGFB has become for Reynolds, she encourages involvement by NCA members throughout the country. Working with well-established guidelines at both the national and local levels, each partner organization has its roles clearly defined: NCA helps to provide certified salon professional volunteers; the American Cancer Society implements the program for patients at the community level; and a free cosmetics bag brimming with products provided by the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association Foundation is given to all cancer patients participating in the program.
"What takes place during a patient session is something very beautiful," says Reynolds. "Recently I saw a young daughter help her mother apply the makeup products we supplied. The interaction between the two was a very touching moment for all of us."
Interested in helping to make a difference? "Join your professional association and consider participating in a program such as LGFB," Reynolds advises. "There are now more than 10,000 NCA-certified volunteer cosmetologists nationwide. And they all do this work from the heart."