Georgia's Online Cancer Information Center

Q&A with Biviana “Bivi” Franco from Feel Beautiful Today

11/08/2019

Biviana is the founder of Feel Beautiful Today. Her mission is to deliver an experience that instills hope, love, and encouragement to cancer survivors through innovative Arts in Health programs.

 

Katreena: Tell me about Feel Beautiful Today.

Biviana: Feel Beautiful Today is a non-profit that was established in 2010. It uses arts programs to aid in healing for all types of cancer diagnoses. We believe in using art to connect with patients and provide encouragement through creativity. This modality is a support concept of integrative oncology and allows survivors to understand the importance of the body, mind, and spirit. Our programs are of high quality and free of charge to attendees. We offer nine programs, a few of them consist of art, mixed media, jewelry-making and photography (photo exhibits). We find our programs are a beautiful way to encourage and support survivors on their journey.

 

Katreena: Why did you start Feel Beautiful Today?

Biviana: I started the organization because I wanted to help patients going through so much.   Members of my family, including my mother and two of my close friends, were all confronted with cancer diagnoses. Research shows that anxiety and stress levels can be reduced through the arts, I’m a designer by training and thought that this would be a good way to give back. In 2010, I decided to use my skills as an artist and art instructor to start FBT.

Katreena: How many patients have participated in Feel Beautiful Today?

Biviana: This year alone, we have reached 1000-1,500 patients. Since the inception of the program, we have reached over 9,000 patients. Many of our patients also come back to serve as a volunteer.

Katreena: Where is Feel Beautiful Day offered?

Biviana: We are currently offering our program at 13 cancer centers in Georgia and the programs are offered in infusion rooms 70% of the time. A few of the locations are Northside Cancer Institute ( More than 20 Locations), Winship Cancer Institute (all locations), Emory Decatur, Grady, Georgia Cancer Specialists, Hope Lodge and more (a complete listing can be found online).

Katreena: How can survivors participate?

Biviana: Survivors can find our programs in local hospitals in the Metro Atlanta area. We are in almost all cancer centers. They can ask a social worker or nurse navigator at their preferred cancer center for a full schedule. We don’t publish our schedules online as we rotate throughout the area. Survivors can also email us to find out where we will be. The programs are open for survivors in treatment and survivors that are no longer in treatment. They also do not have to be a patient at any particular hospital. We want all cancer survivors to feel beautiful although things may be different right now.

 

Katreena: I see that Feel Beautiful Today also has a fashion show, can you share more about that?

Biviana: Our fashion show, Fighting Cancer with Hope, is a fundraiser that we have hosted every year for the past five years. We typically have 15 survivors walk in the show and about 300 people attend each year. All proceeds go to hosting programs throughout the year. The next fashion show will be held on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

For more information about Feel Beautiful Today visit:

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