Grafton Base Hospital deputy director of nursing Heather Baker, hairdressing co-ordinator Donna Lewis, Look Good Feel Better participant Adela Howe, Lyn Harris and make-up co-ordinator Debbie Bowling celebrate the 15th birthday of the Look Good Feel better program. Photo: Adam Hourigan
Grafton Base Hospital deputy director of nursing Heather Baker, hairdressing co-ordinator Donna Lewis, Look Good Feel Better participant Adela Howe, Lyn Harris and make-up co-ordinator Debbie Bowling celebrate the 15th birthday of the Look Good Feel better program. Photo: Adam Hourigan

Keeping up appearances restores dignity for cancer sufferers

WHEN diagnosed with cancer, being confronted with mortality is not the only battle you have to fight.

Hair loss, dry skin and other chemotherapy side effects are major blows to dignity.

For Grafton woman Adela Howe, who was diagnosed with cancer in March, the Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) program made the battle so much easier.

LGFB has helped those diagnosed with cancer for 15 years in Grafton, and on Monday they celebrated their anniversary at the Grafton Base Hospital.

A key part of those celebrations was taking Adela through her first session.

"I didn't know what to expect when I first came her," she said.

"When you have cancer people think you are a different breed, but you are not.

"Now that I've had my first session I feel like I have more hope. I feel like I can do anything."

Queensland and Northern Rivers directing manager Carol Fazel said they drew volunteers from the beauty industry and took their skills to people who needed it most.

"The volunteers own the program," Carol said.

"All of them will tell you it's a privilege to work here."

For Adela and the women before her, the joy is to be given back hope.

"I walk out holding my shoulders back and my head high," Adela said.

Long service

Frances Wratten - 3 yrs

Donna West - 5 yrs

Joan Hargan - 10 yrs

Sue Hutchinson - 10 yrs

Beverley Wheelahan - 10 yrs

Roslyn Wood - 10 yrs

Debbie Bowling - 10 yrs

Heather Baker - Cert of Appreciation