We continue our National Volunteer Week blog series by highlighting Imsoon “Kim” Nurss, a Look Good Feel Better volunteer from Fresno, California, who has been recognized with the 2016 Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Award in the General Volunteer category.
Kim has been a vital part of Look Good Feel Better for over 26 years. She began volunteering for the program in 1990, after losing her sister to liver cancer and discovering that her best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Kim volunteers for workshops at California Oncology, the St. Agnes Cancer Center, and drives over an hour to volunteer in Visalia. Before retiring in 2013, Kim owned a wig shop in Fresno for 44 years, through which she recommended, as well as helped register, hundreds of participants for the Look Good Feel Better program.
We asked Kim a few questions about her experience with Look Good Feel Better, and here is what she had to say:
What brought you to Look Good Feel Better?
I owned a wig store in Fresno, California from 1971 until I retired in 2013. I noticed more and more of my clients were cancer patients, and wanted to use my experience and knowledge to be more helpful to them. During this time, my best friend, whom I met in Fresno in 1971, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I also lost my sister, who lived in Korea, to liver cancer after a long illness. I went into the American Cancer Society’s Fresno office and asked if there was any way I could volunteer, and was pleased to learn about the Look Good Feel Better program. I was certified and trained in Merced, California in 1990, and I’ve happily volunteered ever since.
What has been your most memorable moment with Look Good Feel Better and why?
Every session is a memorable experience for me. Women enter the class sad, tearful, depressed and scared. After two wonderful hours together, they are laughing and smiling with confidence. At the end of each class my rewards are the big hugs and genuine appreciation. Over the years, I have received many heartfelt “thank you” cards with sweet notes. I’ve kept every one of them. This warms my heart!
What is your favorite section of the program? Is there a particular reason?
Being a former wig shop owner, my favorite part of the program is the head coverings demonstration. Most of the patients lose their hair while undergoing cancer treatment. During the cosmetic application, they share their stories together and become friends. When I present wigs, their eyes develop a newfound sparkle and visible happiness. When I demonstrate how a simple scarf can be transformed into a beautiful new look for them, it also brings a twinkle to their eyes. Hair loss is temporary; however, it can be more devastating to female cancer patients than the cancer itself. The makeup, wigs, scarves and hats make a complete and beautiful look. What a blessed and worthwhile program!
Why do you continue to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better, or why would you recommend it to others?
It is my pleasure to volunteer for the Look Good Feel Better program. It offers a positive, wonderful and extremely important message for women going through the cancer journey. I also love to share my knowledge of wigs and head coverings with them.
I strongly recommend the Look Good Feel Better program for someone who wants to make a difference in another person’s life. They will find it so rewarding, as I have. It has personally touched me and helped me to become a better person. I have learned love, patience and the strength of the human spirit.
Engraved awards generously provided by Plaques by Azra.