An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
By Dory Benford | February 5, 2019
Megan Varney Megan Varney and a Lipstick Angel volunteer
At City of Hope, doctors are committed to supporting patients inside and outside of their hospital rooms. One important resource available to patients is the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, which provides numerous resources to strengthen and empower patients and caregivers before, during and after treatment.
 
The Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, funded by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, offers a variety of events every day, including art therapy, yoga, music therapy, support groups, nutrition classes, tai chi, seminars and more.
 
To provide patients with some much needed pampering, City of Hope partners with the Lipstick Angels, a nonprofit organization that sends professional makeup artists to visit cancer patients in the hospital at their bedside while they receive chemotherapy.
 
Tammy Godin Tammy Godin and her godsister Denise
During the organization’s annual Patient Spa Day at City of Hope, the Lipstick Angels transformed a conference room into a day spa, where they offered complimentary facials, aromatherapy, makeup application, snacks and gifts for cancer patients.
 
Tammy Godin was one of the first patients on hand to get her service. A patient of City of Hope for five years, she looks forward to seeing the Lipstick Angels every time she comes to the hospital for treatment.
 
In the midst of her health issues, the beauty services she receives from the Lipstick Angels always lifts her spirits and improves her emotional well-being.
 
When we’re going through this, and it’s the hardest time of your life, you just want someone to look at you as a person and not a patient,” Tammy explained.
 
“When they come in, they just want you to feel good and they make you feel good. And anytime you feel good through all the bad, that’s something you want. And you take that feeling home.”
 
A cancer diagnosis can drastically impact a patient’s physical appearance, to the point where they barely recognize themselves. The Lipstick Angels seek to give patients some of their self-esteem and confidence back by making them feel good about how they look.
 
Many cancer patients may feel insecure about having their makeup done at a department store or beauty retailer, but with the Lipstick Angels, they know they are in good hands with people who are knowledgeable about their conditions and sensitive to their needs.
 
Guillerma Rivas Guillermina Rivas
“Right now, I’m doing radiation daily and my skin is so dry," said Guillermina Rivas, another event attendee. "They introduced me to a new moisturizer and now my skin feels really great."
 
“Their volunteers are kind. They’re really nice. I always wanted to learn how to do my eye makeup and how to contour, but I’ve always felt shy going into stores to ask for help. But here, I just felt comfortable.”
 
The Lipstick Angels are masters at making patients feel comfortable and beautiful, two things that aren’t easy to achieve while battling cancer.
 
To learn more about their important work, visit the Lipstick Angels website. You can also explore the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center’s calendar of events to find more activities for patients, caregivers and their families happening at City of Hope.

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