After her daughter survived a cancer diagnosis at 19-years-old, Lynn Fecteau wanted to support other families in a similar situation.
Her daughter Gabrielle was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in June 2015. She was attending university in Ottawa at the time, so she split her treatments between Timmins and the capital.
It was in Ottawa that she signed up for a Look Good Feel Better workshop.
“It was life changing for her,” Fecteau recalled. “She came out of it just so happy and so full of life. It gave her self confidence and a new outlook.”
While the hospital in Timmins has an oncology centre and offers some treatments locally, psychosocial services and programs like Look Good Feel Better are “non-existent,” said Fecteau.
“People are having to travel to Sudbury,” she said. “They shouldn’t have to travel four hours away to attend a program.”
Fectau has since rallied her community to bring Look Good Feel Better to the northeastern Ontario city.
“I saw first-hand how it made a difference in Gabrielle’s life," she said. "I just wanted to bring a program that was positive to our community and provide them with a little bit of hope.”
The program was “not a hard sell.”
The Local bank, La Caisse Populaire Ltd. secured $20,000 to run the workshop in Timmins for two years, College Boreal secured the space, local makeup professionals and estheticians volunteered their time and the school board as well as many other community members got on board.
“It really is a community effort,” said Fecteau.
Look Good Feel Better’s first-ever Timmins workshop takes place Sunday Dec 3 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at College Boreal.
Gabrielle, now 21-years-old and in remission since 2016, is pleased to finally see the program in her hometown.
“Services like this give you hope and that’s something that we were missing in Timmins,” she said. “The physical battle for me was just half the battle. The psychological effects of cancer – how you feel emotionally, how the side effects affect you like losing your hair and all that – that’s a big part of your day-to-day, which needs to be dealt with too.”
Timmins’ second workshop is scheduled for Monday Feb. 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8: 30 p.m.