Cancer Be Glammed offers pick-me-up for women undergoing treatment
The coral-colored sleeve on her right arm blended into her outfit.
It complemented her dress so nicely that no one noticed it until she said something about it.
“My sleeve is one of the products that we talk a lot about,” says Lisa Lurie, a breast cancer survivor. “This sleeve is for lymphedema — arm swelling. The company that makes these sleeves is LympheDivas. It has turned an ugly compression bandage into a fashionable sleeve. They create them to look like tattoos, decorated with Swarovski crystals or denim and many other stylish options in amazing colors and prints and patterns. They are both fashionable and practical and make you feel good.”
Providing those kinds of products, which offer a pick-me-up for women undergoing cancer treatment or the lingering effects of the disease, is the mission of Cancer Be Glammed, a company Lurie co-founded with her late friend Ellen Weiss Kander, who died of liver cancer in 2012.
As a way to continue the vision she and Weiss Kander shared, Lurie, of Squirrel Hill, co-wrote “Cancer Be Glammed: Recover in Style” ($18) with Maureen Kelly Busis of Squirrel Hill. Dafna Yachin of Philadelphia is creative director and executive producer of the publication.
The three attended a book launch on National Cancer Survivors Day at Our Clubhouse in the Strip District, a place that provides comfort, care and hope to those touched by cancer.
Guests included friends, family members, cancer survivors and those currently undergoing medical treatment.
“Just because a woman is going through cancer treatment or dealing with the medical issues that follow chemotherapy and radiation and side effects of prescriptions, doesn’t mean she can’t look and feel good,” Lurie says.
About the book
The publication offers tips and advice from what to bring for a hospital stay to the most comfortable outfits to wear when enduring a chemotherapy treatment to the benefit of head scarves and the proper care of skin as the body changes from medications and procedures.
“I had trouble finding great products and style solutions during my cancer journey, and I thought if I had trouble, others would feel this way too,” Lurie says.
Lurie says there were times she could not figure out how to put herself back together again, and Weiss Kander felt the same way.
Through tears when talking about losing her friend, Lurie says she had to continue their mission in honor of Weiss Kander.
Lurie funded the initial publication costs with money she received after her mother died and continues to look for financial support as well as help with promoting the guide and getting copies in the hands of the medical profession.
Behind the Scenes look at ‘Cancer Be Glammed: Recover in Style.’ To view the full video visit https://t.co/PBtAcL70uE titled ‘Be Strong and Style on’ #cancerbeglammed #recoverinstyle #WomenEmpowerment pic.twitter.com/HWHvTICDnd
— Cancer Be Glammed (@CancerBeGlammed) June 18, 2018
The models five
At the book launch, five models who are cancer survivors — Nicole Ferguson of Aliquippa, Kimberly Love of Mt. Lebanon, Lori Haberstroh of Mt. Lebanon, Carol Glock of Bethel Park and Karen DiVito of Shadyside — showcased some of the items.
The quintet agrees looking good equates to feeling good and something small such as a scarf or piece of jewelry can brighten the day when you aren’t feeling well.
“Every chance you can get you still want to feel beautiful despite a cancer diagnosis,” Ferguson says. “One of the worst things people can say to you is ‘you look like a cancer patient.’ I want to look good and feel good and healthy.”
“Meeting Lisa and these wonderful women has been so powerful,” says Glock, who founded The Glock Foundation to raise money for breast cancer research. “It’s hard to vent to people who haven’t gone through what we’ve gone through.”
DiVito says the book helps with making women feel good about themselves.
“When you are diagnosed, you still feel good and look good,” DiVito says. “It’s when you start treatment that you feel and look awful.”
Haberstroh says the clothing can be worn after treatments because it doesn’t look like a medical garment.
“When I was battling breast cancer, I found that when I looked better, I felt better,” Lurie says. “I learned that reclaiming my sense of self was easier once I knew what body-changing side effects to expect and where to find helpful products and fashionable solutions.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or [email protected] or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.