RICHARDSON — When you survive a trying time, it is natural to want to help those still going through it. That was the big struggle for Veronica Rogers-Campbell — finding the right way to do it.
But finally she found it, and now she’d love your help.
At 52 years old, Rogers-Campbell has two kids and two jobs in Richardson. Few things can slow her down, but breast cancer did.
“I don’t know what to say... I was shocked,” she said.
Doctors made the diagnosis in 2000. She was 40 years old with no family history, suddenly facing three rounds of chemotherapy, then radiation.
Both wore her down physically... and emotionally.
“All of a sudden I noticed my nails were turning bluish-purple,” she said. “I lost all of my hair and part of my eyebrows.”
But that strong spirit was still there, and as she worked to defy her disease, Rogers-Campbell found her way to cope.
“Whenever I was going to an appointment, I always dressed up, as if I was going out to lunch or something ... nail polish, lipstick, and the makeup,” she said.
So for two years she fought — fashionably — in the Methodist Health System.
Rogers-Campbell is now a 12-year survivor. She’s continued to support the community through the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure, but always wanted to do more.
And she thought about it every time her commute took her by Methodist Richardson.
“I had been driving past that hospital all the time and I used to see that cancer sign and I was like, ‘I don’t want to be in there any more,' that’s what I was thinking — never knowing I was going to go in there one day and ask someone how can I help!” she said.
Three weeks ago, Rogers-Campbell found inspiration right at her fingertips.
“I’m asking for lipstick, lip balm, ChapStick... anything like that,” she said.
Rogers-Campbell calls her program LIPSTICK. The idea is already in place at a friend’s salon in Garland, and at a Richardson Walgreens.
It calls for donations of unopened lipstick and nail polish that Rogers-Campbell will take to ladies undergoing treatment at Methodist Richardson. Doctors welcome her help.
“There is truth to the idea that if you kind of can help yourself look good and feel good on the outside, it will help on the inside,” said Dr. Jenivieve Hughes, a breast surgeon at Methodist Richardson.
With a few dozen donations already coming in, it’s helping Campbell, too, by giving her survival purpose and making women like her feel beautiful.
“I just finally found a way to do something for people who took such good care of me,” she said.
If you’d like to contribute to Rogers-Campbell’s cause, visit her website for more information about donation locations.