May 1, 2013 — Cancer steals health, dignity and often lives. Since 1989, Beverly Powell has been battling self-esteem issues that often come with chemotherapy treatments.
She is the area trainer for 21 counties in the Look Good-Feel Better program, designed by the American Cancer Society to aid women in appearance maintenance when living with cancer. Outside of the program, Powell has created a wig bank with hundreds of wigs for those in need.
“Society does not allow a woman to go out into public with no hair. When they have a wig, people say, you don’t look sick at all or your hair looks great and that takes some of the sadness away,” said Powell. “Some people would say, well their appearance is the last of their worries, but they are living their daily lives and, with wigs, it brings their confidence back.”
She worked at a cancer therapy treatment facility for 13 years and later became a hairdresser so that she could continually help women in need.
“I’ve never personally had cancer, my father did but I was deeply impacted by the women going through the cancer treatments,” said Powell. “It is nice to see a woman that comes in feeling defeated put the wig on and just light up.”
Powell addresses skin, nail, scarf and makeup techniques with Look Good-Feel Better but the wigs are her personal donation, which she fits, cuts, styles and gives to anyone in need.
“No request, from anyone is denied whether it is a man or woman because of cancer or any other issue,” said Powell. “There is absolutely no charge for the wigs and I typically send people home with two wigs per year until their hair comes back.”
Through Look Good-Feel Better, cancer patients are able to receive $250 in makeup and Powell said that leaves that money open for travel expenses or medication. The confidence also gives them strength, for the sometimes long road to recovery.
Powell wants those who want a wig to set up an appointment but welcomes walk-ins at Woody’s Hair Shop on Carey Avenue in Morehead.
“We like them to have appointments so we can focus on them and give them a personal, private experience with wig selection and fittings, cuts and styling and beauty consultation. They are also welcome to take their wigs to their personal stylist if they want,” said Powell. “We don’t talk about cancer or what they are going through unless they want to do so. We want it to feel like they are just going to the beauty shop to have their hair and makeup done.”
She said the wigs are very high quality and natural looking.
“We have gray, blonde, brunette, short, long, curly, straight, real hair, synthetic and so many more for people to pick from,” said Powell. “I’ve told the ladies, it is kind of like picking out a wedding dress…once you get the right one, you just know.”
Look Good-Feel Better meets every third Wednesday of the month at the Women’s Imaging Center at St. Claire Regional Medical Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Powell asks anyone interested in a wig or for more information about Look Good-Feel Better to call her at 784-2387.
“There is so much need and I want to do what I can to help,” said Powell. “I hate that they have to go through everything they do and if I’m able to make one person feel more like their self, then I will keep doing this until I can no longer.”
Shayla Menville can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 784-4116.