"I truly believe that Look Good Feel Better is an extremely important program that the American Cancer Society offers" says LaDonna Roye who just received her 11 year Service Badge as a LGFB Facilitator. "There are physical changes that patients go through that their doctors may not have told them. Yes, they may know they will lose their hair with chemotherapy but they may not have been told about other changes to their skin and nails. I have seen the smiles on people's faces as they look in the mirror after the LGFB session and see someone who looks more like they looked before treatment began. Another important part of the program is the networking and camaraderie that happens. As a person who is about to begin treatment sees someone who is getting their hair back, it gives them hope that there will be an end point to the chemo and they will also get their hair back."
After five years as a volunteer facilitator for LGFB, LaDonna Roye became an Area Trainer. Her responsibilities included training other licensed beauty professionals (cosmetologists, estheticians, and nail technicians) to facilitate the program. She's now been involved over 11 years.
Background on How Look Good Feel Better Started
In 1987, a physician asked his friend Ed Kavanaugh how to get a "make-over" for a woman in cancer treatment experiencing appearance-related side effects. The woman, the doctor said, was so depressed and self-conscious that she would not venture outside her hospital room. Kavanaugh provided cosmetics and a make-up artist. Miraculously, the make-over transformed not just the woman's looks, but her outlook, as well. The doctor credited the makeover with improving her attitude and emotional approach toward her treatment.
At the time, Kavanaugh was president of the Personal Care Products Council, an organization consisting of major cosmetic giants such as Mary Kay, Avon, L'Oreal, Estee Lauder, Revlon, Chanel and Elizabeth Arden. Recognizing the opportunity for their industry to help more women maintain self-esteem and face cancer treatment with greater confidence, they teamed with the American Cancer Society who provided the vital national network to assist women seeking information and access to the program.
The National Cosmetology Association encouraged its member cosmetologists to volunteer their services and the program "Look Good Feel Better" was launched in 1989. The program has now expanded throughout the USA and globally.
The Three Guiding Principles of LGFB
- LGFB is non-medical - It does not interfere with patients' medical treatment, make any medical or psychological claims, or replace professional medical advice in any way;
- LGFB is completely free of charge. Every patient is entitled to one complimentary demonstration, in either a group or individual session, and the volunteer beauty professionals do not promote nor solicit business. Their participation is completely free of charge.
- LGFB is salon and product-neutral. No brands, products or salons are endorsed by any volunteer at any time during a patient session.
LaDonna's Experience with LGFB
"All I know is that as a professional cosmetologist for the past 31 years " shares LaDonna "I have had way too many clients who have been diagnosed with cancer. Many of those clients said they didn't really cry until after treatment began . .on the day that their hair started coming out by the handful."
"I also know from personal experience that many of these women continued to work during their treatment whether it was to stay busy or for financial need. Obviously, they did not want to call attention to themselves by looking sick. Another observation I made was that their friends and families felt more hopeful when they saw their loved one looking better."
By encouraging your friends and family members to attend a Look Good Feel Better program, you help promote an important tool for coping. A recent American Cancer Society study showed that only a small percentage of female patients knew about or attended any type of support program. Let's spread the word, there is help and hope for those experiencing cancer treatment. What you can do to help:
- Learn more about cancer and its physical and psychological effects. Contact your local American Cancer Society for more information.
- Explore the LGFB website www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org
- Offer to drive someone to a group program or one-on-one consultation.
- If no group program is offered in your area, call 1-800-395-LOOK to request the LGFB self-help video/booklet.
- Offer to provide a second opinion in picking out wigs, hats and head wraps, if desired, or even help with shopping.
"Before I became involved in this program" states LaDonna "I thought a donation to the American Cancer Society went to cancer research. I'm amazed at the number of patient services they offer. . .all free of charge. Almost 30% of all the funds raised goes to patient services. Those services that make the lives of cancer patients and their families a little bit easier!"