LEAWOOD, Kansas — A Leawood cancer survivor was honored for her work helping ease the pain of other cancer patients.
Susan G. Komen Kansas and Western Missouri honored Liz Benditt this year, givng her the title of "Woman of Action." Benditt will be the keynote speaker at the Virtual Pink Power Luncheon on Oct. 23.
Benditt has had four types of cancer – melanoma, thyroid, basal cell and breast cancer.
"But the good news is, I've had a lot of experience having cancer and recovering from cancer," Benditt said.
Her most painful experience was radiation therapy during breast cancer.
"I did not react well to radiation," Benditt said. "My skin burned very, very badly."
She's not alone, according to Dr. Kenneth Macdonald, Director of Radiation Oncology at Saint Luke's Health System.
"Somewhere between 20 and 30% of women do experience peeling," Macdonald said. "It's very red, prominent darkening of the skin, blisters that break open and peel."
Desperate for relief, Benditt searched online for answers and found it in Calen Doula oil.
"It took that sting out of the burn, and it helped my skin heal a lot faster," Benditt said.
That's when Benditt had the idea to launch a care package business, the Balm Box, which includes a less-expensive version of oil, as well as other comforts for cancer patients.
She enlisted the help of Rachel Huck, CEO of Polish Your Parts, a skin care company in Overland Park. Huck said it feels good to provide something soothing and helpful for cancer survivors.
"You're mixing botanicals that have a very herbal smell together, and you just have to keep working with each ingredient together to get a scent that is not overwhelming to someone going through radiation, Huck said.
Benditt said when she is packaging the items to send to a cancer patient, she has one focus.
"I hope that the botanical burn balm and all the products in the balm box give them the support they need to muscle through their treatments," she said.
The Virtual Pink Power Luncheon is co-sponsored by Komen Kansas and Western Missouri and the Johnson Cancer Research Center at K-State University .
The public is invited to attend and can register online to get the link.