Lifestyle

Make-up artist helps cancer patients feel beautiful again

22-year-old makeup artist Norman Freeman knows how hard it is for cancer patients, having lost all their hair to treatment, to feel beautiful – and what he’s doing is making that just a little bit easier.

Calling hospital wards his studio, Freeman visits cancer patients and offers to do their makeup, giving them some much needed confidence at a difficult time in their life that is fraught with low spirits about their appearance.

Freeman himself understands what it’s like for patients to lose all their hair. At age 5, he was diagnosed with alopecia, an autoimmune disease causing chronic hair loss. Over the years, he lost all of his hair, including his eyebrows and eyelashes.

“I was teased. People didn’t know if I had cancer or what… they thought I had cancer, and they still teased me!” said Freeman of his past.

A passion discoered from watching Youtube tutorials soon turned into a career artist, later prompting him to launch a self-funded project to offer free services to cancer patients.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native focuses his efforts on the East Coast, visiting hospitals in New York and Philadelphia, but hopes to expand his reach using the donations from those who support his work.

“I know how untouchable makeup can make me feel,” said Freeman. “I want people to say, ‘I’m sick, and it’s awful, but I can still feel beautiful.’”

Scrooge the Ticket: Residents in Ontario town to donate instead of paying parking fines

Traffic police in the Ontario town of Innisfil are inviting drivers to “scrooge the ticket” this holiday season by donating to a local food bank instead of paying off their parking tickets.

Last year, the first “Scrooge the Ticket” initiative was a huge success, collecting over USD 1,200 worth of toys, food and gift cards. This year, Innisfil is running it again: up till December 9, those who have been slapped with a parking ticket can opt to bring items of an equal or greater value than their fine to the town hall. Donations go to the Innisfil Community Church’s Christmas Outreach Program.

Innisfil isn’t the first to implement such an initiative. In America, cities in Colorado, Virginia and Kentucky have allowed parking violators to pay their fines with a donation to the food pantry.

The inventive idea makes a not-so-fun activity – paying a parking ticket fine – a gentle reminder that we can all do our part to contribute to the lives of those who are less fortunate. Residents who haven’t received a parking ticket are welcome to donate as well.

“No one likes to get a parking ticket, but this is a thoughtful way to have our residents give generously to a great cause leading into the holiday season,” Mayor Gord Wauchope said.