Valuable community programs help those with cancer

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In a few months, more than a thousand people are expected to show up at West Brunswick High School to honor and remember cancer survivors and victims as part of Brunswick County Relay for Life 2011.

Across the community, volunteers are working hard to raise funds for the event. From fun and games to meals, community members are raising money that will ultimately go to the American Cancer Society. That money will be used to fund research and support programs for those with cancer.

Two of those important programs have recently been restarted here in Brunswick County—Look Good Feel Better and Reach to Recovery.

Through Look Good Feel Better, the American Cancer Society teams with the National Cosmetology Association and the Personal Care Products Council Foundation to offer a free, non-medical program designed to lift the spirits of women battling cancer.

Locally, there are Look Good Feel Better workshops every third Monday of the month at 2:45 p.m. at South Atlantic Radiation Oncology Center in Supply.

Although reservations are needed, the program is open to all cancer patients. The workshops are designed to help women dealing with cancer feel better about themselves. They’re given tips on how to apply makeup in new ways and how to enhance their appearance by using scarves, wigs and hats.

Participants get gift bags filled with makeup from companies such as Estée Lauder, Mary Kay, Maybelline and Lancôme, but more importantly they have the opportunity to make new friends and feel better about life post-cancer diagnosis.

Interested? The next workshop is March 21. Call Rachel Urban for more information and reservations at 254-4870.

Through Reach to Recovery, women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer are paired with a volunteer breast cancer survivor. It all begins with a phone call, and the relationship develops from there based on the needs of the person most recently diagnosed.

Through relationships established through Reach to Recovery, volunteers do their best to answer questions from those newly diagnosed patients and help alleviate some of the fear associated with the diagnosis.

Here in Brunswick County, Shirley Tacchetti, a four-year breast cancer survivor, is heading up the local program. She said she got involved because she wants to help give other women hope.

To learn more about Reach to Recovery, including to become a volunteer, call 575-2703 or e-mail shirleyt@atmc.net.

And, it’s not too late to get involved with Relay for Life. Chances are you probably know someone who has been affected by cancer. Getting involved with Relay—from raising funds to being a walker—helps those affected by the disease.

This year’s Relay will begin at 6 p.m. May 13 and continue until 11 a.m. May 14. There will be events for the entire family.

For more information on how you can get involved, go online to www.relayforlife.org/brunswick, search Facebook for the group “Relay for Life for Brunswick County” or call Kendal Klein, community manager, at 254-4870.