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St. Barnabas Hospital staff wants patients to feel better, and look good too

Bronx Times

Staff at this Bronx hospital want to help their patients not only feel better, but look good too.

Seven cancer patients recently participated in the “Look good..feel better” program hosted at St. Barnabas Hosptial.

The program provides cancer patients with makeup and tips to make them look and feel better about themselves.

Myrna Perez, a nurse on the oncology unit at the East Tremont hospital, always knew how much the program had helped her patients over the years.

But when she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, she had a different perspective.

“I knew the program as a nurse and thought the patients got a lot out of it,” Perez said. “But when I attended as a patient, I saw it differently.

“You lose your eyebrows, and eyelashes with chemo in addition to your hair. You don’t want to go outside.

“But with the makeup they gave us, everything looked so natural. They showed me how to put a kerchief over my hear, which is important when it’s hot and you don’t want to wear a wig. It was good to go through it with other people going through the same thing. It was so good for my body image and made such a difference.”

Eileen Rhodes, who was diagnosed with cancer in January, said she found out about the program while in chemo therapy.

“This was my first time participating,” Rhodes said the Monday, August 20 session. “Someone from the hospital was talking with patients about different things and she invited me to come. It helped me to feel better about myself. It was a good experience and very helpful. I enjoyed it. They showed me know to put eyelashes on and eye brows, because I lost mine.”

The group programs, offered by the American Cancer Society in partnership with Personal Care Products Council Foundation and the National Cosmetology Association, are open to all women with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or other forms of treatment.

In the United States alone, more than 700,000 women have participated in the program, which now offers 14,500 group workshops nationwide in more than 3,000 locations.

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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