For cancer patients going through chemotherapy, a good quality wig is just one more expense on a long list of pricey treatment-related costs. As much as many cancer patients would love to be able to look and feel “normal” again, a good wig is just too expensive for some.
Staff at the Abrookin Career and Technical Center in Albany has been trying for three years to do something to combat this issue and make sure every cancer patient who wants a wig gets one. They have been hoping to gather some donations to purchase wig making materials for their cosmetology students to make wigs for needy cancer patients. This year, thanks to donations from area businesses and members of the community, they’re able to make that a reality.
The donations paid for materials for several wigs, and the students got to work looking for people to make custom wigs for. Fern Miller, a stage 3B breast cancer patient, was the first to receive one of these wigs. The students even did her makeup to complete the look.
“To have people care enough about you and think enough about you to donate hair for you is a lot,” she says. “It’s very meaningful, and it gives you back your dignity.”
Students at the career and technical center initially thought learning to make wigs would be a good source of income for them later in life, but they were about to learn a much more important lesson. The wigs they made gave so much joy to the people they were made for, that the spirit of giving was a much bigger part of the experience for all involved than the actual wig-making itself.
The career and technical center still has materials left to make eight to ten more wigs. Now they just need cancer patients to put them on! We’re sure they’ll have more clients to work with before too long!
The center plans to continue to have their students make wigs for needy cancer patients as they receive the funds to be able to provide them.
Hear more from the students and staff responsible for this awesome gift and from Fern, the first wig recipient, in the video below.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?