Gibson Cancer Center, affiliated with Southeastern Health, established a wig room several years ago to help patients cope with the effects of losing their hair because of cancer treatments. The room was supported by money from the Southeastern Health Foundation and American Cancer Society, as well as by donations of items from area churches.
“It’s a wonderful program and it really helps boost the women’s self-esteem,” said Shereta Jenkins, an oncology social worker at the center.
When the wig room first opened, it featured 105 wigs. Since then, the offerings have expanded to include not only wigs but also hats, turbans and bandanas.
“Everything is available for them free of charge because losing hair is a devastating experience and we try to make it less challenging,” said Linda Tyndall, a licensed cosmetologist and wig room voluntee, who has worked with the program, as well as the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good… Feel Better” program, for two years.
All patients who are going through treatment at the center can make appointments with Tyndall to get fitted for wigs. She works with patients during one-on-one sessions to ensure that wigs and other head coverings they select fit properly.
“I do this to help them look and feel better about themselves,” Tyndall said. “It’s something that will lift their spirits.”
Over the past year, the wigs and other items offered in the room have been very popular with patients, and the inventory is getting low.
“If we want to continue this valuable program, we need the community’s help,” said Michael Smith, director of the Gibson Cancer Center.
“If others could donate to fund the wig room that would be awesome,” Tyndall said
For information about how to make a donation to benefit the wig room at Gibson Cancer Center, whether of money or of wig room supplies, call the Southeastern Health Foundation at 910-671-5583.
Chanel Langley is completing an internship with the Public Relations Department at Southeastern Health. She is a junior at UNC Pembroke, majoring in mass communications.