Photo © Courtesy of Look Good Feel Better
“What inspires me is when we watch the participants walk in the room—unsure, not feeling well, told this would be good for them—and then we watch them blossom,” said Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) volunteer Lisa Wynn.
Lisa’s connection to Look Good Feel Better, Canada’s only charitable program dedicated to helping women manage the effects cancer and its treatment have on their appearance, runs deep and spans decades.
“When LGFB came to Kelowna in 1997, I was in the first meeting. Over the years, I have had many volunteer roles, moving to assistant team lead, to team lead, then site coordinator,” Lisa shared.
This year, Lisa celebrates 25 years of volunteering with LGFB and being part of a community that offers women supportive care so they can feel like themselves again.
“My own mom went through cancer,” Lisa said. “In Kelowna, we had two Tuesday evening programs and a Wednesday afternoon program. I went with my mom to an LGFB program that wasn’t my typical Tuesday evening. I was there as her support, but also had my apron in case of volunteer shortage. As things would go, I ended up leading the program that night, with my mom on my left!”
Through her years of working with LGFB, Lisa has seen the transformative power of self-care. True health care treats the whole person—not just the physical but the emotional and psychological aspects too. Often, the most challenging thing about a cancer diagnosis is not the disease itself but the loss of identity that comes with it. The disease can rob you of your unique identity—instead becoming “the cancer patient.”
LGFB offers complimentary workshops that give Canadian women, teens and most recently men, the tools and techniques to feel beautiful and restore their sense of self. It’s a method that puts people first and prioritizes how they feel. At the LGFB workshops, both in-person and online, people with cancer can learn how to manage the appearance-related impact of cancer and its treatment, led by expert volunteers like Lisa.
“Every workshop I host ends up being one of my favourites,” said Lisa. “It sounds cliché, but each and every one of the workshops offers so many experiences, connections, new understandings, education, support, and, as a bonus, a kit of skincare and cosmetics. Seeing and hearing the women connect is such a gift, as is hearing them say, ‘Oh my goodness, I look like me again!’ Each step of the skincare regime, you see the women light up more, sit a little straighter. Eyes brighten, conversation grows, there’s often laughter and stories shared.”
At LGFB, there is something for everyone. As the seasons change and the weather cools, Lisa reminds us of some must-know tips for taking care of ourselves, inside and out, this autumn and winter.
“As seasons change, moisturizing our skin and properly hydrating our bodies as the air gets drier can make so much of a difference. And sunscreen is still a must! Also, paying attention to the moments or days that we need to ‘fill our cups,’ whether it’s curling up with a good book, a cup of tea and a blanket, or going out for a walk in the crisp autumn air.”
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At Look Good Feel Better, they believe that cancer care needs to treat the whole person, including her well-being and the quality of life of the people that are affected.