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Helping people Look Good, Feel Better: McDuffie's Kendrick receives state award for work with cancer patients

Kay Kendrick tells the story of a cancer patient who, at the beginning of her workshop, hid from the camera because of the side-effects of chemotherapy.


Kay Kendrick talks after accepting her award last week.

After Mrs. Kendrick was finished with her, she looked good and felt better.

Mrs. Kendrick believes in the power of that saying, and the Thomson-based cosmetologist helps pass on the truth of it every chance she gets.

Look Good, Feel Better is a national program that puts cosmetologists with female cancer patients for wig fitting and learning the best makeup techniques to mask the affects of the chemotherapy. And hopefully they will be uplifted in the process.

Mrs. Kendrick has been there whenever the program has needed her for 15 years. And she was recognized by the cosmetology association as the recipient of the Look Good, Feel Better Sunrise Award winner in the state of Georgia for her efforts this year.

"That's probably one of the biggest gifts you can give back to somebody is to be able to give your experience to someone to help them in coping with it," Mrs. Kendrick said. "A lot of times we find patients that once they've been diagnosed there are even extremes where they will opt not to take treatment instead of losing their hair."

In addition to volunteering her time to help patients look their best, Mrs. Kendrick is also the state trainer for the program.

She said the time she spends with the program is all worthwhile because of the good that a positive self image can do for the participants.

"When you can give them enough back where they can keep their self esteem and pride to go out in public and maintain as much normal attitude in their life as they can, it makes their healing process that much better," Mrs. Kendrick said.

Doctors refer to that as the lipstick theory, she said.

Some doctors think that if a female cancer patient begins applying lipstick once again, she is on the road to recovery, which is the aim of the program.

"The theory is in our case, don't ever let them get to the point where they don't put on the lipstick," Mrs. Kendrick said.

Originally from Augusta, Mrs. Kendrick has been in Thomson 29 years. She has been in business here since 1980 and can be found at Cut and Style on Main Street.

She said the award was nice, but it wasn't exactly the reason she got involved in the Look Good Feel Better program.

"It's a big honor, but you don't do these things for the rewards that you get from a trophy. You do it for the rewards you get from being able to help somebody maintain their lifestyle," she said.

Web posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005


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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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