What inspired you to get involved with Lipstick Angels?
Four years ago, shortly after losing my beloved Grammie (who also loved fashion and beauty!), one of my closest friends was diagnosed with lung cancer. Simon was originally from England and he didn't have any immediate family here in the states. Within a very short amount of time, Simon was simply too sick to work and he really needed our friend group to help him with both his basic needs and eventually to support and encourage him through the end stage of his life. The Hospice process -mentally, emotionally and even physically - completely and totally changed my life forever and inspired me to find a way to combine my passions for beauty, health and wellness with public service.
With our NYC program a little over a year old, what has been your most memorable interaction with a patient?
I will never forget the very first patient at NYP who asked me to do her make-up. She was a real New York City fashionista and so lovely and appreciative of my time, friendly conversation and beauty advice. Bonding over our love of vintage clothing and red lipstick, we became fast friends. Each visit, she became more and more confident with her own skincare and make-up artistry skills. It was really rewarding to watch her learn and grow from our sessions. The education we instill in our patients is truly empowering! Sadly, my friend passed away a few months ago, but now I carry her memory in my heart - and the enthusiasm she had for learning - into every session at the hospital as a way of honoring her beautiful spirit and unforgettable sass.
As a Program Manager, you interview many potential Ambassadors. What do you look for when choosing a new Lipstick Angel?
I look for: approachability, compassion, exceptional talent, dependability, poise and emotional maturity when interviewing Lipstick Angel Ambassadors. The ideal Lipstick Angel Ambassador candidate is also someone looking to give back in some way, shape or form - whether they or their family have been touched by cancer or not.
How does working with Lipstick Angels impact you personally?
I'm a pretty "mushy" personal naturally. I cry easily and I'm always hugging and kissing everyone I love and telling them how much they mean to me. But - quite miraculously - working for Lipstick Angels has opened my heart up even more! This job has given me a greater capacity to love which I think is pretty extraordinary and very lucky for me.
What one word best describes how you feel after you finish your shift at the hospital?