Shannon Miller, right, celebrates at the DreamBall with Robin Roberts, Giada DeLaurentiis and Kelly Ripa. (Photo courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency)
We all remember Shannon Miller for her high-flying feats and beaming smile at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. So what has she been up to since then? Conquering cancer with style, and helping other women do the same.
Last December, Miller's doctor discovered a cyst on her ovary during a regular exam that she almost skipped (reminder to get your check-ups!) and had surgery to remove it a few weeks later. It was cancerous, but caught at an early stage. Miller, a mom to a 15-month-old son at the time, completed nine weeks of chemotherapy filled with nausea, hair loss and low energy. That's where the Look Good...Feel Better (LGFB) program comes in.
LGFB launched in 1988 and has been helping women with cancer improve their self-esteem and quality of life through makeovers that remind participants that they are beautiful inside and out. It's the only free, worldwide service that teaches those in the midst of cancer treatment that they can have a bit of normalcy back in their lives.
"As a woman, Look Good...Feel Better pulled me out of the sadness of treatment. I was able to focus on being a person again, which when you lose all of your hair—eyebrows and eyelashes included—is hard to do," Miller says.
Beauty professionals host makeover workshops and webinars focusing on cosmetics, skin and nail treatments and accessories that address specific side effects of cancer so the patients can direct their energy on healing.
"Not every person wants to be asked about their treatment all of the time, and I know that I wanted my son to still be able to recognize me," Miller explains. "You have to deal with so much when you have cancer—financially, physically, mentally—is makeup and hair important? It is! Your body begins to feel like you're own again since how you look is a symbol of how you feel."
Today, besides promoting LGFB (she was honored at the organization's DreamBall in September, see photo above), Miller is back to work with her wellness company Shannon Miller Lifestyle and just received a clean MRI scan!
Learn more about LGFB and find out if it's available in your area here.
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