Styling for the soul

Program helps women with chemotherapy, radiation


It's been more than two years since doctors diagnosed Kim Dilldine with breast cancer. She has since beaten the disease and is now reaching out to those who are facing the same struggle.

Dilldine is working to bring a new program to Craig to do just that. Look Good ... Feel Better is a free program designed to provide information and materials such as wigs and cosmetics for women who are going through chemotherapy and radiation. Dilldine, with other members of the program, will hold a session in Craig on Oct. 21 at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

"When you lose your hair, it's a humbling experience," Dilldine said. "When you have your hair, you can pretend you're not sick. But when you lose it, you can't pretend anymore. It's a 24/7 thing."

Look Good ... Feel Better is a nationwide program offering consulting by cosmetology professionals on how to cope with skin changes and hair loss using cosmetics and skin care products. The program also offers one-on-one counseling and videos for those not able to make it to the meetings.

Dilldine said she's hoping the program will help women drop their fears of others finding out they have cancer.

"We want women to know that they're not alone," she said.

Dilldine got involved with the program as a way to give back to those who helped her when she was in need.

"It seems like when you're in a hard time everyone pitches in," Dilldine said. "This is a way for me to give back."

Deborah Sherman-Hurst, who has breast cancer that spread to her bones, went through chemotherapy in the cancer's earlier stages.

Sherman-Hurst lost her hair because of the treatment, and even though she didn't wear a wig or cosmetics at the time, she thinks most people will benefit from the program.

"Hair is such a big thing for people," Sherman-Hurst said. "Until you lose it, you don't realize how much you miss it."

Sherman-Hurst said she believes the camaraderie of the event is very positive for some people.

Through the program, Dilldine learned different techniques for applying make-up and took to a few types of hats, which she used until her hair was back to what she considered normal.

The American Cancer Society donates wigs, and once people don't need them anymore, they're encouraged to bring them back for others to use.

Dilldine said she is excited to bring the program to Craig because "it lifts your spirits and makes you feel good."

For more information on Look Good ... Feel Better, call Kim Dilldine at 824-8421.

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