Roswell’s volunteer-run, nonprofit Feel Beautiful Today uses art to help comfort cancer patients during radiation and chemotherapy treatment at local hospitals.
Feel Beautiful Today is a local nonprofit organization established in 2010 by to provide love, hope and encouragement to women and girls affected by cancer through Arts in Health programs. For the past nine years, founder Biviana Franco has been running the nonprofit from her basement with the help of volunteers.
The organization has impacted the lives of nearly 9,000 patients and survivors in the Atlanta area with the help of 15 local hospitals, infusion centers and radiation centers to deliver its programs. Feel Beautiful Today is staffed entirely by volunteers, which enables them to invest more than 90% of the donations received into fulfilling their mission.
“I have seen loved ones suffering and going through so much pain and I have seen how much they need support that is beyond medical and physical support, that they need companion and distraction,” Franco said.
Franco explained how many patients’ caretakers will drop off patients for radiation or chemotherapy and come back when the treatment is over, leaving the patients alone for hours at a time. Feel Beautiful Today is able to step in and provide patients with creative activities to distract from the treatments.
Feel Beautiful today provides craft kits ranging from bracelets, mixed media collage to hand made cards. The nonprofit also provides patients with Bags of Hope with a blanket and other comfort items for patients who may not have access to them.
“I know that I cannot cure cancer, but I know that in the journey of a cancer patient, everyday can make a difference,” Franco said. “Sometimes just a little love, a little act of kindness, a little positive program or exchange with someone can really bring something beautiful for that patient.”
Feel Beautiful Today will also be participating in the Delta Air Lines Cancer Peer Support Group “Hope Thrives” Fly-In event taking place Sept. 16 at the Delta Headquarters.
“We are honored to participate in the event and are excited to provide two of our most popular programs – Hope Reigns and the Warrior Within,” Biviana Franco, Feel Beautiful Today’s Executive Director said.
For this event, the nonprofit will be presenting 130 Hope Reigns bells to patients battling cancer as well as survivors during our signature Hope Reigns ceremony, where we will recognize and celebrate the cancer patients’ and survivors’ treatment milestones. The program which invites all attendees to join together and ring the bells to remember, honor, celebrate or encourage loved ones and friends during their difficult journey has become one of Feel Beautiful Today’s most sought-after.
The nonprofit will also provide “The Warrior Within” photographic narrative exhibit, featuring 15 cancer patients and survivors from Delta’s Hope Thrives group. It begins with a photo shoot and the final portraits contain their words documenting their struggles and courage.
Patients receive their portrait as a gift after the event. A photo book will also be printed as part of Feel Beautiful Today’s Warrior Within Program to share with cancer centers and hospitals and positively impact and inspire the journey for others in the middle of this difficult disease.
For those interested in volunteering with Feel Beautiful Today, please visit www.feelbeautifultoday.org.