“Susan Ginsberg believes that women put up a better fight against cancer when they look good and feel confident about themselves. She volunteers her time to help patients learn how to care for themselves using makeup and leave the workshops happier and more confident.

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Susan Ginsberg had to undergo surgery after seeing a Gynecologist. After the surgery she was told that she had vulvar cancer.

She exclaimed, “It was an utter shock. You never believe that you are going to get cancer. You always think it’s the next person. I just cried thinking that I was going to die. For a person who does not know much about cancer, you would think cancer equals death.” She researched and found out more about her condition. She felt at ease after knowing that she is not in this fight alone and that there are medically advance treatments developing.

“And so here I am after 24 years appreciating life more. It takes such a tragic incident to happen to wake you up. I became a much happier person. I normally tell others that if I did not have cancer, I will be such a miserable person,” she continued.

She joined a Befriender programme at a Hospital and have been volunteering her time speaking to newly diagnosed patients and their family members. About 5 years ago she was joined a Hanyu Pin Ying class in Singapore Cancer Society (SCS). After that she joined the SCS Look Good Feel Better Programme.

“By joining this programme I am able to help other patients going to different hospitals. I feel contented when a little bit of make up with a nice wig perks the ladies. Patients feel good and confident to tell us about their problems. It is also like counselling, but with the added benefit of a makeover,” she added with a laugh.

When asked what the one most memorable session she had is, she replied, “3 years ago, there was a session when a patient’s daughter dragged her to the class. The patient was just looking around and we told her that that everyone here is a cancer patient, including the advisors. I assured her that we are here to help her and for her to help herself. But she was consumed by negative thoughts, asking what the point is if she is going to die? After some time her attitude changed and she became involved in the class. We were surprised when she said she wanted to walk out with 2 different looks on her face. She was so happy with the makeover. Now she looks very different from when I first met her. She looks so confident and happy.”

Along with other volunteers, Susan works together with the Senior Makeup Artist, Pamela Hoeden, to teach survivors cosmetic techniques and alternative hair fashion. 

About SCS Look Good Feel Better Programme

This programme was developed specifically for women undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It builds self-esteem through a practical approach to the appearance-related side effects of cancer. The programme also aims to help women learn about cosmetic techniques and hair alternatives to manage the physical changes brought about by cancer treatment.

For more details or to sign up: https://www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg/get-help/cancer-survivor/cancer-support-programmes/look-good-feel-better.html

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