Make-Up Artist Lori Ovitz Publishes Book Aimed at Restoring Dignity to Cancer Patients
Submitted by Julie Penfield, on behalf of Facing the Mirror with Cancer
"To take something you do as part of your job, a talent you've honed over the years, and turn it into something you can do to help people," observes Lori Ovitz, "is the most satisfying culmination of any professional career." Ovitz should know. In her successful 20-year career as a makeup artist, she attained a lofty peak, working with top models, broadcasting and sports personalities, and celebrities in television, catalogs, and magazines in her native Chicago.
While some may have set their sights on parlaying this sort of success into a career in movies or with fashion's most prestigious magazines, Ovitz felt herself pulled in another direction. She is one of those rare people who make volunteering a priority no matter how busy her life may be. As a young teen Lori lost her best friend to cancer and found herself drawn to Chicago's cancer charities. As a result of her loss, she made the bold decision to approach the program director of Gilda's Club, one of Chicago's most respected supporters of cancer patients and their families, with a plan to coach cancer patients one-on-one, teaching women, teens, children, even men how to camouflage and minimize the appearance and side effects of cancer treatments.
Her program was an overwhelming success with patients learning firsthand the enormous energy that looking good - or simply looking like yourself - can give to a person with cancer. Since 1999, Lori has offered her professional talents privately at no charge to patients at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University Hospital and at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Recently, Ovitz reached out to millions more who battle daily to regain some semblance of their ordinary lives with Facing the Mirror with Cancer: A Guide to Using Makeup to Make a Difference (June 2004), a beautifully photographed, 200-page book for cancer patients and survivors, illustrating step-by-step tips and techniques for dealing with appearance issues during cancer treatment and beyond.
The book has earned her praise from many cancer patients, their families, and hospital staff, as well as the support of cancer organizations, many of which are participating in an online book donation program to get the book into the hands of their patients. With 50% of their personal profits from sales going directly to cancer research and related causes, Lori and her husband Bruce - a 35-year cancer survivor - have made the choice to eschew traditional distribution channels and market the book primarily online at Facing the Mirror with Cancer.
Facing The Mirror With Cancer has received high praise from both bicyclist Lance Armstrong and cosmetic expert Bobbi Brown, who gave Ovitz a little helpful advice and words of encouragement when she was just getting started. What's more, Lori and Bruce continue to form meaningful partnerships with nationally recognized and grass roots cancer organizations like the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Gilda's Club, Cancercare, and the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation.
Lori Ovitz continues to make a difference helping those who face the battle of a lifetime to look and feel simply like themselves. Lori recently joined the board of the Chicago chapter of The Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Updated: January 20, 2009