Being a teen is a complex time marked by many new challenges: your body is changing, you are figuring out who you are growing into, and you might even find yourself with some newfound independence from your parents. Now imagine a cancer diagnosis on top of all that.
Sofia Tomassini was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 14. Along with the taxing medical treatments, Sofia found the changes to her appearance challenging. “In my school there was even more pressure to look a certain way: all the girls have long hair; all the boys have short hair. That was the only thing that scared me—losing my hair. That was a big thing for me. It was okay to have short hair. It was a choice I could control,” says Sofia. She learned about the Look Good Feel Better teen workshop from her medical team. As the only national organization dedicated to helping women and teens facing cancer manage the appearance-related impact of treatment, the Look Good Feel Better Teen Workshop is a source of comfort, community, and inspiration for teens as they manage through this difficult time.
“Cancer can be isolating for anyone, but especially for teenagers, as it isn’t a common experience among their peer group.” says Susan Larkin, VP of Programs with LGFB. “The LGFB workshop provides valuable information, such as skincare, sun safety, and makeup hygiene, but most importantly, it offers a place where teens can meet others facing a similar experience. More often than not, the group ends up laughing, sharing, supporting each other, and just having fun.”
While typically offered in person, the workshops moved online during the pandemic. “The teens adapted so easily—they are just used to being part of a virtual community.” says Susan. “And teens facing cancer is a relatively small population size, so by offering the workshops online, we are able to bring together young people that may otherwise be feeling very isolated.”
Sofia’s advice for other teens diagnosed with cancer is not to think, “‘why me?’ Instead, think about, ‘I’m going to be done with this! I’m going to beat this!’” This holiday season, you can help even more teens facing cancer through Look Good Feel Better. Mary Kay Cosmetics Ltd. will match all individual gifts made until December 31st, doubling your impact. Because no teen should go through cancer alone.
Head over to lgfb.ca to support women and teens facing cancer.
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.