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Creating to heal: Charity helps women feel whole again after treatment

Many cancer survivors struggle with reclaiming a sense of independence after treatment... a local charity is giving them their creativity back

ATLANTA — Cancer survivors in Atlanta are creating a sense of independence by creating art through a charity called "Feel Beautiful Today." The organization helps women battling or recovering from cancer feel like themselves again. 

Now, it's bringing people all over the metro together to heal. 

"You get nephropathy and I have it in my hands and feet," Lavonne Conde. "It's a side effect that stays with you, unfortunately. Two years out, I'm still numb in my hands and my feet."  

Conde just wanted to feel normal after years of treatment. She came to "Feel Beautiful Today" frustrated she wasn't making more progress with her nephropathy - a common side effect of chemotherapy treatments. 

RELATED: 'I just beat it:' 10-year-old celebrates beating cancer at Georgia hospital

"So I'm battling that, it's bothering me," she said. "One of the things I realized with Bivi, I felt like I was getting some independence back."

She signed up with the program that brings art materials to hospitals, infusion rooms, and cancer survivor groups and encourages them to create again. 

"It's about caring about the human who is battling cancer, not just a cancer patient, but really helping them to feel normal, to feel human," founder Biviana Franco said.

She started the program nine-and-a-half years ago and has helped hundreds of women since then.

"It gives you a chance to share with others who have had similar stories. It allows you to be with women who have gone through the same thing, and takes your mind off of it," Sharon Allen said. "And it really does make you feel beautiful today."

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