Trudy Hightower is a woman who understands the importance of being at the right place at the right time. As administrative assistant to the Women's Center at Conway Regional, Hightower had experience with the Look Good...Feel Better program, but she never dreamed that she would one day be coordinating it.
"It was an accident that happened for a reason," says Hightower. "[At first] I was not sure I could do this, but when I saw those women smile I knew I could help others. We call them parties, because it feels like a party once we are finished."
Since 2002, Hightower has been coordinating Look Good...Feel Better at the Conway Regional Medical Clinic. Look Good...Feel Better is a program offered through a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, Personal Care Products Council Foundation, and the National Cosmetology Association. The program is designed around the concept that if someone with cancer can be helped to look good, their improved self-esteem will help them to approach their disease and treatment with greater confidence.
Hightower says that the program is a welcome break from treatment for many participants. "Every appointment these patients have is about their cancer, but with the Look Good...Feel Better program it is not about their chemo. It is a party about them and about feeling better. The transformations are awesome," she says.
A thyroid cancer survivor herself, Hightower knows the importance of having a support system. "My cancer was still encapsulated and was removed. I did not have to go through what many of these women do," she says. "The American Cancer Society is doing good things."
In 2003, Hightower won the American Cancer Society's award for "Patient Support Best Practice" and the "Women Mean Business" gala award in the management category in 2006-2007. She resides in Vilonia, Ark., with her husband and two daughters.
Look Good...Feel Better volunteers are licensed cosmetologists. The program is offered at no cost to participants. For more information about Look Good...Feel Better or how to volunteer, please call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Posted by Richard Lawry at 1:57 PM