Source: Valley Roadrunner

Relay supports programs for those fighting disease

by Kim Harris
Roadrunner Correspondent


May 22, 2014

Editorís note: As Relay for Life of Valley Center approaches we at the Valley Roadrunner thought it would be interesting to hear stories from those affected by cancer to give everyone in the community a better understanding of how cancer affects a patient and the families that love them. This week, we cover how the money raised at Relay For Life of Valley Center is used to help cancer patients throughout Valley Center and the surrounding area. We continue to look for stories from anyone who has been affected by cancer and invite readers to share them with us by sending an email to editor@valleycenter.com for publication in a future issue.

Every year in June, Relay For Life of Valley Center raises money for the American Cancer Society. For many, those donations mean the difference of getting lifesaving treatments or staying home, building self esteem or just having someone to talk to that can give hope in a time when hope seems to be a thing of the past.

Funds raised at Relay For Life go toward research to find a cure but also to specific programs such as Look Good Ö Feel Better, Road To Recovery, and Reach To Recovery. All three programs are designed to help those diagnosed with cancer in different ways.

Since 1989, Look Good Ö Feel Better has helped women diagnosed with cancer improve their appearance and self image by teaching hands on beauty techniques to manage the appearance side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Each group of six to 10 women is led by a volunteer beauty professional.

Women learn about makeup, skin care, nail care, and ways to deal with hair loss such as with wigs, turbans, and scarves. Each woman gets a free makeup kit to use during and after the workshop. Free one-time individual salon consultations are available for patients unable to attend a Look Good Ö Feel Better class. Contact Look Good Ö Feel Better for a list of participating salons in the area.

Women arenít the only ones who benefit through the Look Good Ö Feel Better program. Men can order a free, self-help brochure that gives them information on how to deal with the way treatment and side effects can change the way they look as well as other useful information. The brochure features a tear out sheet of steps to help men with their daily skin and hair care routines.

All cosmetology volunteers who are part of the program are required to attend a four-hour certification class. Patients interested in the program and those interested in volunteering should contact Look Good Ö Feel Better by calling (800) 395-LOOK or the local American Cancer Society Office.

Road To Recovery provides transportation to and from treatment for people who have cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves. Volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their cars taking patients to and from treatments and provide encouragement and support.

Volunteers must have a valid driverís license for the state where they live, a safe, reliable vehicle and proof of auto insurance. They must have a good driving history and be in good health. Driver coordinators help schedule the rides, working whenever it is convenient for them, sometimes as little as four hours a week.

Sometimes the only person who can understand the very real fear of battling breast cancer is someone who has been there themselves. The Reach to Recovery fills that need by matching specially trained breast cancer survivors with people who have been diagnosed with the disease.

Volunteers with Reach To Recovery helps those diagnosed cope with their breast cancer experience at any stage in the patientís journey. They offer understanding and support during a time when patients often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and alone. They are specially trained to offer comfort and an opportunity for emotional grounding and informed decision making. As survivors, volunteers can offer a unique understanding to those who currently battle the disease.

To learn more about or volunteer with Road To Recovery or Reach To Recovery, call (800) 227-2345, contact the local American Cancer Society Office at (619) 299 4200 or visit www.cancer.org

Relay For Life of Valley Center will be held at Bates Nut Farm on Saturday, June 21 beginning at 9 a.m. The 24 hour event will honor survivors, memorialize those who have lost their battle and provide the opportunity to come together for a worthy cause. For more information, to donate or to register a team, visit RelayForLife.org and search for Valley Center or send an email to sbriscoerealy@hotmail.com.