ABC 7 BAY AREA - 'Lipstick Angels' flying into Stanford Cancer Center to boost patients' spirits


This non-profit was founded to bring beauty and comfort to cancer patients.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Joanna Roberts has been fighting cancer at the Stanford Cancer Center with support from her family and doctors.

But, she's getting a visit from an angel. Kerri Stimson is a makeup artist, and the Bay Area program manager for Lipstick Angels.

The non-profit was founded a little more than five years ago to bring beauty and comfort to cancer patients.

"Our whole mission is to uplift and support the spirit of patients as they go through a really challenging time," says Stimson.

The group uses high quality products supplied by an array of partners from the cosmetics industry. In Joanna's case, the goal is the kind of make-up, make-over you might get in a spa.

"For me it's going to be great, now I don't have to make any other appointments," says Roberts.

The Lipstick Angels focus is equal parts cosmetic, and spiritual. A few minutes before Joanna's make-over, Kerri was down the hall with lymphoma patient Patrick Hethcoat, giving him a soothing skin treatment as he prepares to begin his next round of therapy.

"Trust me, these people go the extra mile. That's why they're angels," beams Hethcoat.

The program is free for patients. After mositurizing Joanna's skin, Kerri applies color and lip treatments to finish her make-over. Joanna's hoping to head home to Reno in a matter of days. With the memory of her grueling cancer regimen softened, just slightly, by the touch of an Angel.

"When I hand them the mirror, it's like a candle is lit inside them," says Stimson.

Besides Stanford, Lipstick Angels also services UCSF and hospitals in Los Angeles and New York.