Social worker creates program to help give cancer patients confidence

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Soon after Sara Balaker gave birth to her baby Josie, she received a dreaded diagnosis.

"I was diagnosed December of 2015 with stage 4 cancer," Balaker said.

The breast cancer had spread, and weeks of chemotherapy and radiation really took a toll on her mentally and physically.

"When you look in the mirror, it's like, 'whoa, where is that young person that I used to see?'"

"Physically, emotionally, financially, socially, cancer gets involved with everything in your life," says Darci McNally, a clinical social worker.

That's what inspired McNally to create the Be-u-tiful program to enhance patients appearance during treatment.

"Sometimes, when you're looking good you feel better, and that's ok," McNally said.

Julie Jukich, a licensed cosmetologist who works with cancer patients, uses a special technique for brows.

"Now you have three points to build your brow," Jukich said.

Male patients also want to look and feel good.

Stoyan Dulgeroff says chemo did a number on his skin.

"You could touch my skin and it turns white because it's so dry," Dulgeroff said.

Vitamin E was used for his cracked lips, and sparse lashes were filled in with a pencil.

"It's almost like transformation right before your eyes," Balaker said.
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