If Only For a Second

For those of you in the great wide blogosphere who don’t know what I do for a living, I am a proud part of the Oncology (read: Cancer) team at the local hospital.  We serve people from all over the province at a particularly scary time in their lives.  Illness is always a terrible thing, but Cancer seems to bring an extra measure of fear and suffering to people.  As a matter of fact, when I tell people what I do for a living, most people flinch, quickly followed by them telling me that they could never work there themselves.  Part of what I strive to do day in and day out is to ease the suffering of others, usually with a joke, an honest conversation, a good cry, or support whether they’re winning or losing “the fight.”

I feel like I have worked with enough people to know that being diagnosed with Cancer, to use a popular cliche, “turns their world upside down.” And sideways. And shakes it around.  It takes over a person’s life and then pushes all the other things to the side.  It’s no surprise that most people could use a moment (or two, or three, or many) to feel better about things, or to forget that they’re sick.

This is what the Mimi Foundation sought to do for cancer sufferers.  With branches located in France, Belgium and Switzerland, the foundation was created to enable men and women diagnosed with cancer to be able to face it more serenely.  Through the French branch, they created the “If Only For a Second” project.  Cancer sufferers were recruited and told that they would be getting a makeover, including professional hairstyling and makeup.  They would not be able to see their makeover until they were done.  The real hoot is that each participant was given an utterly ridiculous makeover, and their photo was taken before and after the big reveal.  The goal was to allow people to forget their suffering and have a moment of lightness, if only for a second.  The results were amazing, and warmed my heart.

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Check out the video here!

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