Eivind Bjerke – 25-year volunteer
I had a beautiful young woman on my staff about 28 years ago. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer and was sent to NIH for treatment. She was told that she needed to start treatment at once, or she would not live for another year.
A short time later, I heard that Look Good Feel Better was looking for cosmetologists (back then hairdressers). In 1988, I signed up and was asked to do the first pilot Look Good Feel Better program at Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown Hospital. In that early pilot period, The Personal Care Products Council Foundation, formerly the CTFA Foundation, sent me several times to New York and other places to help demonstrate the program to Council member companies representing the cosmetic industry and help them understand the impact of Look Good Feel Better for women with cancer.
Prior to becoming a volunteer, I had worked with clients over the years that had cancer and would lose their hair. My knees would buckle when I was doing their hair, and the hair would come out in my brush or comb. I felt terrible and did not know what to say or do for these clients when that happened. Back then, cancer patients had surgery and treatment for the cancer and were left to deal on their own with their hair loss and appearance issues and concerns.
Then along came LGFB and the whole world changed. Oncologists and other oncology health care providers found out the need and importance for their patients to look their best after surgery and hair loss due to chemotherapy.
I have thought long and hard about the one word to best describe the Look Good Feel Better program. It’s hard to think of just one word, but here are a few that come to mind: lifeline, healing, rewarding, therapeutic, comforting, beneficial, love, and fun.
When I volunteer for the Look Good Feel Better program I feel like, in a small way, maybe I helped to save someone’s life.