BFMC employee receives American Cancer Society award

Has been teaching female cancer patients beauty techniques  for 12 years

GREENFIELD — The American Cancer Society has named a Greenfield woman who works at Baystate Franklin Medical Center as one of its three “Look Good, Feel Better” Sunrise Award recipients in Massachusetts.

Cherie Rowland, a clerk in the hospital’s intensive care unit and a professional cosmetologist, received the honor after serving as a Cancer Society volunteer for the past 12 years. “Look Good, Feel Better” is a Cancer Society program that has taught beauty techniques to more than 700,000 female cancer patients over the past 25 years.

During the free group programs, cosmetology professionals like Rowland teach cancer patients step-by-step makeover learning sessions — meant to counter appearance-related side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Rowland gives patients make-up kits and then teaches them some tips to hide blemishes, add color to cheeks, draw in eyebrows and properly fit a wig.

“After my stepfather was diagnosed with colon cancer, I wanted to give something back to help cancer patients,” said Rowland in a prepared statement supplied by the hospital.

Vicki Sutton, the hospital’s oncology social worker, helped Rowland receive training for the program and nominated her for the Sunshine Award.

“Cherie is a gem and a beam of hope and light to the women who first come in shyly, and at the end of the program are talking and laughing and looking just great,” said Sutton in a prepared statement. “She provides an oasis of love and hope in the midst of their overwhelming sadness at the loss of their hair and sense of self.”

The award is given to three volunteers in each state who serve as active leaders for the programs, by helping to raise community awareness and providing information to the public.

The BFMC-run program is available only for cancer patients currently undergoing treatment. For more information, contact Sutton at 413-773-2570.

You can reach Chris Shores at
or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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