Look Good Feel Better

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Funds raised this Dry July will help fund free workshops to help with managing the most common physical and psychological impacts of treatment

About Us

Look Good Feel Better is a free, national community service program, run by the Cancer Patients Foundation. The program has been designed to help cancer patients learn practical strategies to manage the physical, psychological and social impacts of cancer treatment. Since the first workshop in Sydney in May 1990, more than 180,000 women, men and teens undergoing cancer treatment across Australia have benefitted from participating.

Three services are offered as part of the Look Good Feel Better program – Face-to-Face workshops, Virtual Workshops and Home-Delivered Confidence Kits. These services have been developed with the purpose of empowering those undergoing cancer treatment by equipping them with the practical skills and knowledge needed to face their cancer diagnosis with confidence.

The Cancer Patients Foundation, responsible for running the Look Good Feel Better program, is an independent not-for-profit organisation, not affiliated with any other cancer charity or support service. With no government funding, the Cancer Patients Foundation relies on the generosity of corporate and community supporters to ensure all Australians have access to the program, free-of-charge.

Latest Updates

In 2018 Dry July Foundation funded 450 Look Good Feel Better workshops

Following the success of the 2018 Dry July campaign, Dry July Foundation funded 450 Look Good Feel Better workshops helping men and women going through cancer treatment feel more like their normal selves. Here's what some of the participants had to say:

“The Look Good Feel Better workshop felt like a huge reward at the end of my treatment. It encouraged me to move forward with renewed confidence. I also felt humbled to see other women, travelling a far harder and longer road, blossom and laugh in the nurturing environment of Look Good Feel Better.” Susan, past participant

“This experience was way above my expectations. It was fantastic to be amongst other ladies who were going through similar experiences to myself and to have the genuine focus from the volunteers on our specific needs with regards to skin care and make up.” Elizabeth, past participant

“Thank you all for such a supportive and heartening experience. I was really on the ropes with the hair loss and having a bad day feeling unwell, but I was nevertheless able to get some useful makeup tips. You offer a fantastic and very generous service, delivered in a kind and respectful way, not asking too much of the participants, but providing timely and vital information.” Evi, past participant VIC

“I had a fantastic morning at the workshop! At the start of the workshop some of the ladies looked a bit nervous but by the end, every one of us was laughing and had enormous smiles on our faces.The headwear demonstrator was so helpful. 10/10 day - I've already recommended it to three lovely ladies. Thank you.” Janette, past participant NSW

“Excellent workshop! Its great to be among other women going through similar experiences. I'm much happier about losing my hair which will be any day soon where I was anxious about it before. I realise looking after your appearances helps not just yourself but people around you. Thank you very much!” Judith, past participant QLD

Christina's Story

My partner and I met in Australia and moved to London together four years ago when I was 23 years old. I am self-employed, providing consulting and training services in the data protection and IT governance environment for businesses. I set-up the business when I was living in the UK alongside co-founding a cybersecurity startup with exciting new opportunities.

Whilst living in the UK, I noticed a pea-sized lump in my neck. It was around for a few weeks and I didn’t think much of it. Then over two days, the lump grew from the size of a pea to the size of a golf ball and I knew I had to immediately get it checked.

I wasn’t actually worried about it at all at first; the three week process was that it was just a cist and we were testing to be sure, so I went to my hospital appointment for the results by myself. But the ultrasound and biopsy confirmed a cancer diagnosis – Hodgkins Lymphoma.

When I was first told, I didn’t really comprehend what it was. I immediately started asking questions about a solution. When the doctor mentioned that a few months of chemotherapy would be required, everything sank in and I was an emotional mess.

I spent the next 48 hours telling my family, calling all my clients and dropping out of work, and packing up our apartment to fly home to Australia immediately for treatment. The decision was made instantly as there wasn’t any way I’d be tackling this alone in the UK.

After receiving my diagnosis, everything stopped. The financial position my partner and I had forecasted we would be in by this time so we could start achieving our future plans was disrupted, and emotionally I felt like my life was ‘taken’ from me. However, you do gain a new appreciation for everything you ever had, realise you can earn it all back, and you start to move forward.

When I was offered the chance to attend a Look Good Feel Better workshop, I wasn’t reluctant to attend. I know someone who was reluctant because she didn’t want to feel like she had cancer, and such a workshop would confront that, but we actually ended up attending together and it felt like a great opportunity for friends to just hang out and get some make-up tips.

The workshop delivers exactly what it offers – it makes you look good and feel better. Not just because of the make-up or headwear, but also because you have a chance to spend time with other women who are dealing with the impact of their condition. The challenge of managing the physical side effects is one hundred times better when you’re not trying to figure it out on your own.

How to properly draw on eyebrows and put colour back in my cheeks was key for me, but being able to just let go of all the stresses that cancer causes due to physical changes and to be looked after for those two and a half hours is incredible. The whole workshop was stress-free and fun.

Funding approved for another 150 workshops!

A further 150 workshops have received funding thanks to a second grant from the Dry July Foundation. In 2019, almost half of the workshops that Look Good Feel Better will now have been funded by thanks to the fundraising efforts of Dry July participants; a magnificent outcome.

Look Good Feel Better workshops are complete free for cancer patients to attend no matter what stage of their diagnosis. You can read more about the workshops and check for availability by clicking HERE.

300 workshops funded thanks to Dry July 2018

A total $300,000 has been awarded to Look Good Feel Better Australia in the 2018 Dry July Foundation early grants round. This will fund 300 of the 1000 workshops that will run in Australia during the next twelve months.

Look Good Feel Better is a free national community service program run by the Cancer Patients Foundation, dedicated to teaching cancer patients how to manage the appearance-related side-effects caused by cancer treatment. Women, men and teens participate in practical workshop demonstrations covering skin care, make-up and head wear, leaving them empowered and ready to face their cancer diagnosis with confidence.  

Workshops cover skincare techniques to address common side-effects like dryness and sun sensitivity; makeup tips to help correct and conceal redness, sallowness, pigmentation and dark circles as well as techniques for drawing on eyebrows; and advice on headwear including scarf styling and wig selection.

Each participant receives a complimentary Confidence Kit full of skincare and make-up products donated by the cosmetic industry, and an instruction booklet to use as tools for application throughout the workshop and for continued use in their own homes. Participants also benefit from the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation. During the workshops, friendships and additional support networks are formed that can be invaluable during diagnosis and treatment.

Look Good Feel Better workshops are open anyone undergoing treatment for any sort of cancer. 

How Look Good Feel Better helped Kirsten after her cancer diagnosis

My little family immigrated to Australia five years ago from Johannesburg. My husband, two beautiful girls - aged 8 and 7 - and I love our life in Sydney and we spend our time exploring its beaches, restaurants, museums and cafes. We enjoy a healthy, outdoor lifestyle as much as possible.

When my doctor discovered a lump during a routine yearly check-up, it was the last thing I had expected. I had a good fitness regime, I was feeling really healthy and was getting stronger and fitter - I never got sick. An ultrasound led to a mammogram, which led to a biopsy, which came back as a cancer diagnosis. I was shocked and scared – how could I have breast cancer at 34 years of age? With no family history?

I had surgery and it was considered a success, but as my cancer had spread to my lymph nodes, I needed to undergo a course of chemotherapy. This of course meant losing my hair. My nurse suggested I attend a Look Good Feel Better workshop to help me learn some useful ways to manage the changes I was experiencing to my appearance. While I was offered practical guidance about make-up and skin care, I was really interested in mastering head coverings and found the advice on scarves and scarf styling invaluable. Mostly though, it was really beautiful to connect with other women in a similar position and I felt so encouraged by the lovely volunteers.

I am very much a changed person. I went from being an extremely energised, fit and strong independent woman to a frail, sickly, fatigued person who needed help all the time. But I try to stay positive because life happens and you’ve got to adjust and work with the direction it’s sending you in. We all chant these mantras, that whatever life throws at you, you’ve got to make the most of it. And my experience has taught me that you have to still live. You have to still find the joy in every day.

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