Program helps patients feel better about themselves while battling cancer

GF Default - Program helps patients feel better about themselves while battling cancer
GF Default - Program helps patients feel better about themselves while battling cancer

MIAMI – Going through cancer treatment not only affects a person emotionally, but it can also take a toll on their physical appearance.

Chemotherapy can cause hair loss and make skin dry and sallow.

See how a program is focusing on making male and female patients feel better in their fight against cancer.

Soon after Sara Balaker gave birth to her baby Josie, she received a dreaded diagnosis.

"I was diagnosed December of 2015 with Stage 4 cancer," Sara said.

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The breast cancer had spread, and weeks of chemotherapy and radiation really took a toll on Sara mentally and physically.

"When you look in the mirror, it's like, 'Whoa, where is that young person that I used to see?" Sara said.

"Physically, emotionally, financially, socially, cancer gets involved with everything in your life," said Darci McNally, a licensed clinical social worker at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

That’s what inspired Darci to create the BeUtiful program to enhance patient’s appearance during treatment.

"Sometimes when you're looking good you feel better, and that's OK," McNally said.

Julie Jukich, a licensed cosmetologist with the Be-U-tiful Program, works with cancer patients by using a special technique for brows.

"Now you have three points to build your brow," Jukich said.

Male patients also want to look and feel good.

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Stoyan Dulgeroff said chemo did a number on his skin.

"You could touch my skin, and it turns white because it's so dry," Stoyan said.

Debi, the Be-U-tiful Program, used Vitamin E for cracked lips and filled in sparse lashes with a pencil.

"It's almost like transformation right before your eyes!" Balaker said.

Debi and Julie recommend natural or organic products with soothing ingredients like aloe and try to stay away from products containing parabens.