Argentine Beauticians Give Chemo Patients A Reason To Look In The Mirror

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For cancer patients dealing with the physical and psychological trauma of the disease, even looking in the mirror can be difficult. When chemotherapy robs your hair, it’s common to feel that a part of your identity goes missing as well.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in Argentina, after heart disease, and the country’s cancer mortality rate is the third highest in Latin America after Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago.

“Look Good Feel Better” is a program that offers free lessons in makeup and skin care, with tips on covering heads gone bald and using eye-liner to replace fallen eyebrows.

It’s an opportunity for beauticians to share their skills, for companies to donate products and for people with cancer to find some hope.

The idea began 25 years ago in the U.S., where more than 700,000 women have participated, and it has spread to Argentina and 23 other countries where chemotherapy is increasingly common. Argentina was the first Latin American nation to launch it, in 1999, and it has since grown to 100 sites across the country.

For Mariela Steinberg, 38, it has made all the difference. She’s had multiple surgeries in a yearlong fight with uterine and cervical cancer, and was shocked at first to look in the mirror.

“You see a face but you don’t recognize it as your own. But now I can say, little by little, I am beginning to adapt,” she said during a two-hour class. “All of a sudden I begin to recognize myself. I am made-up, beautified.”

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in Argentina, after heart disease, and the country’s cancer mortality rate is the third highest in Latin America after Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago, the Pan American Health Organization says.

Staying optimistic is known to increase the odds of survival, and appearance can have an outsized impact. Thus the program’s theme, “Hope is beautiful.”

Daiana Castro, a 23-year-old hairstylist with ovarian cancer, was traumatized at first. “I had red hair, beautiful and long, and when it fell out I didn’t leave the house for a week.”

Then she sought out one of the classes at Hospital San Martin. “If you have makeup on, you feel better. It helps you not to feel down,” Castro said.

Makeup tips include techniques for covering extremely dark circles, creating the impression of eyelashes, drawing on eyebrows where none remain, and wrapping headscarves so they won’t slip off smooth skin.

Psychiatric oncologist Gabriela Ozco says the program is a key part of holistic treatments.

“At first, they don’t want to look in the mirror,” she said. “It’s one of the first symptoms that we’ve noticed with patients. And the fact is that in such workshops one of the first things they do is get them looking in the mirror. So they are faced with, ‘This is who I am,’ and from there on, it’s all about getting better.”

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Today I Met An Angel (Cancer Awareness)

Today I met an Angel. Her name ? Kelsey Hunnicutt. I know what your thinking , Just another sob story about a disease that kills thousands around the World. But, this story is a little different. Kelsey is ONLY 17… & Bless her heart as beautiful as can be. A few months ago I over heard someone talking about her. Unaware of who she was I blew it off. Today though , Was different for me. Kelsey and her grandmother came in to my work to eat. Not knowing who she was I smiled and simply greeted them. They both ate and began to leave. As they left I saw a hospital bracelet on the table… I began to read the name on the bracelet. It read “Kelsey Hunnicutt.” This is the girl who is losing her life to cancer? The one EVERYONE everywhere is talking about. My stomach dropped as tears came into my eyes. She’s younger than me, & yet she has her life to worry about. Where I’m always complaining about Bills, New shoes & how my hair NEVER looks right. WE ALL can be ungrateful. & I know bills are important , BUT this young lady simply smiled the whole time. It was definitely a tired smile… But it was a SMILE! How could I be so selfish. Here I am looking at someone who may not make it to Christmas , & if she does, Want be able to FULLY enjoy it. But getting to my point of this hole thing We all have struggles. We all have our bad days & our not so bad days. We all strive to be perfect. What about the kids who aren’t so lucky? What about the children in hospitals who can’t even make it out on thier own. This really does bother me. Any other time i’d get a tad bit emotional but i’d blow it off. THIS TIME though has me wanting to do something, Anything ! To help people like Kelsey ! Please find it in your heart to pray for her, & others that share this life taker. She has a Facebook page and a fundraising page !

 

Fundraising website : http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/kelsey-s-fight/89867

Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Kelsey/579354775458773

*PLEASE DONATE MONEY, WRITE LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT. ANYTHING TO BRIGHTEN Kelsey’s DAY*

 

-Thank you, & I as well will be praying for this young girl. She truely inspires me to want to help not only her but every other child. The description below is the one they have on her facebook page. TEAM KELSEY

 

About

This is a support page for Kelsey Hunnicutt. She was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
Description

This is a support page for Kelsey Hunnicutt. She was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bonecancer most commonly found on children, young adults and athletes. She is a senior in high school and has been a cheerleader all four years, but this year she won’t be able to cheer due to her condition. She is a very strong girl and we know that she can beat this cancer but a little support never hurt anyone. We are currently working on a few different things for her and if anyone is interested, feel free to contact us. Please keep this sweet girl in your prayers! And remember #dontgiveupkelsey