Lou Brown of Tama first heard the cancer diagnosis at the tender age of 17. She survived cervical cancer and lived cancer-free for many years until 2008, when she again faced a cancer diagnosis. Brown is an experienced social worker, with Master's Degrees in Science of Vocational Rehabilitation and Education- Training and Development. She understands how to counsel others, but has also learned to counsel herself through a variety of cancer treatments.
In response to this life challenge she has begun several programs to help others. She leads the Native American Cancer Support Group in Tama County and she helps others find services as she did. Lou received help from the American Cancer Society to find housing in Des Moines when she needed to stay there for her cancer treatments. She actively supports the Relay for Life of Tama County, serving on the planning committee each year. The Relay for Life of Tama County will be held Saturday, June 8, at the South Tama H.S. track from noon until midnight. For more information on this local event contact Ashley Bohlen, Tama/Toledo, 641-484-0204; Marilyn Svoboda, Clutier, 319-479-2732; Karen Symonds, Dysart, 319-476-7762; Luane Lorenzen, Traer, 319-231-0820.
The American Cancer Society offers many ways to help cancer patients. One program is called "Look Good Feel Better." Courage, confidence, control, and community are all words used by cancer survivors to describe their experience with Look Good ...Feel Better, a free cancer patient support program for women, offered in nearly 2,000 hospitals and cancer centers nationwide. A partnership between the American Cancer Society, the Personal Care Products Council, and the Professional Beauty Association/National Cosmetology Association, the program is designed to help women cope with the appearance-related side effects of their cancer treatment.
To the women who participate, the benefits are significant. Sitting around a table with others in the same situation, they laugh, cry, share stories, and discuss their appearance concerns and favorite beauty secrets. Certified volunteer beauty professionals lead the discussion, offering practical tips about skin care, makeup techniques, and guidance for coping with hair loss. The women who participate are regaining self-confidence and control at a time when their cancer seems to have diminished that. The women attending receive a complimentary gift bag of cosmetics and personal care products that are used as tools to help them restore their appearance and self-esteem.
"The physical transformation is amazing but it's truly a makeover for the spirit," says Theresa Allen, American Cancer Society Patient Programs. For cancer information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or, if you are a woman in active cancer treatment and would like to find out if there is a Look GoodFeel Better session near you, call 1.877.227.2345.