In celebration of Look Good Feel Better’s 25th year in Canada, we’ve named 25 Heritage Heroes who have helped the charity make it to 25 inspiring years of helping women and teens with cancer feel like themselves again, or currently play an important role and provide a powerful voice to keep the program alive for years to come.
Each of our 25 Heritage Heroes – one for each year of our program – exemplifies the very essence of Look Good Feel Better’s mission to empower and support women with cancer.
Wendy Murphy has been a dedicated volunteer at British Columbia's Fraser Valley Cancer Centre since 1999. An experienced hair stylist, she knows how devastating hair loss and other appearance-related effects of the disease can be for a woman. Before joining LGFB, she had helped her own clients with cancer cut their hair in preparation for hair loss.
She's since gone above and beyond as a Look Good Feel Better volunteer, providing this same service to some of the women she meets through the program.
Q. What is it that made you become a volunteer with Look Good Feel Better 18 years ago?
As a hairdresser, I’ve had many clients go through cancer – hair loss is often one of the most traumatizing parts of the experience, so I’ve helped them cut their hair or shave their heads in preparation for it.
I came across Look Good Feel Better when I was looking for information on head wraps and turbans. I signed up to become a volunteer and I’ve been here ever since!
Working in the beauty industry, I realize how much confidence you get form looking in the mirror and feeling your best. And some of these women going through cancer, they still have to go out to work, they still have to function with what’s going on.
Volunteering with Look Good Feel Better allows me to help these women gain back a little bit of control.
I believe all of us LGFB volunteers know the difference that we make – all the recognition that we need is when you get those smiles at the end of the workshop. It makes you feel like you’ve won the lottery.
You can’t put a price tag on that.
Q. What is your favourite workshop moment?
I have so many, but one really stands out: We had a young mother, she had her young son with her
We almost had to pull her into the workshop she wanted to go home, she was really upset, but we got her sitting down and we had her son happy in the corner, occupied.
The difference in the woman from the time she came into the workshop to the time she left was phenomenal.
She was a whole different person, she thanked us a thousand times, she hugged everybody, she wrote a nice letter after saying how much it had changed her and gave her a new outlook and just really empowered her to get through the journey.
That was one of the most powerful ones – it was wonderful.
Each and every workshop is so meaningful and does amazing things for many women.
You see the women come in all quiet and then leave just beaming and happy and chatty.
You see them exchanging phone numbers, making shopping plans and we’ll often get hugs on the way out.
The workshop is actually very little about makeup – it’s about sharing, it’s about having the opportunity to be in a room full of women who are going through what you are.
Magic happens here.