Anyone facing a cancer diagnosis understands that the fear and uncertainty can rock you to the core. And once treatment begins — which can impact the quality of your skin, hair and mood, it can be difficult to feel cheerful and light, or sometimes even face yourself in the mirror.
The women behind a new program called FLAIR on the Coast hope to offer fresh insight and inspiration to help women facing cancer feel better about themselves.
Carol Bowman and Jean Pate each have personal experience and stories to share around cancer. The two local dragon boat competitors initiated the FLAIR on the Coast program, after becoming familiar with the Look Good Feel Better program offered in the Lower Mainland, which also helps women facing cancer.
“Our primary goal is to lift a woman’s spirit by helping her look good, giving her more confidence while going through cancer treatment,” said Pate. “Because when you’re diagnosed with cancer it’s a really big blow.”
By hosting a monthly, free two-hour workshop, Pate and Bowman are cheerfully determined to enable women in cancer treatment to feel more empowered. It’s a non-profit initiative the two have currently privately funded simply to give back to the community and share what they’ve learned. The workshops will include guest speakers, a wig library (where patrons in treatment can borrow wigs), hair alternative ideas, cosmetic application ideas, skin and nail care.
Bowman, who is a professional esthetician in Sechelt, understands that feeling better during treatment can be daunting, from learning how to properly apply false eyelashes, or finding healthy creams for dry skin or fragile nails. She also knows that feeling confident during a difficult time is enhanced by comradery and starts from within.
“People who join us can expect to drop in for coffee and snacks, have fun and laugh, meet others going through the same things and leave feeling better, instead of feeling down and out about cancer,” Bowman said.
Bowman and Pate will offer their first workshop in Sechelt, with plans to expand to other areas of the Coast as needed. They also hope to pick up funding sponsors and new guest speakers to add to the program.
The first FLAIR on the Coast workshop is Saturday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at Rockwood Centre in Sechelt. For more details and to confirm your attendance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Carol Bowman at 604 740-3110 or Jean Pate at 604 883-0660.