‘Not only was I put at ease, I had a good laugh’
Since launching in December, St Luke’s Hospice ‘wig bank’ is helping cancer patients deal with the ‘devastating’ impact of hair loss.
One recipient of Julie Wakers’ wigs is Wendy Holmes, she has been talking about the service and how it has been helping her come to terms with her hair loss.
Wendy said: “Losing my hair due to cancer treatment is devastating – no matter how well prepared I thought I was or told myself losing my hair is better than losing my life – I was still shocked when 10 days after starting chemotherapy, about 90 per cent of my hair fell out over only a two day period.”
Wendy, 46, who lives in Basildon, has worked for the department of work and pensions for the last 19 years, but last April she, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following a full mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, Wendy started chemotherapy in August 2017 and is currently part way through her treatment.
She said: “I have good days and bad days but am determined not to give in to cancer. I am fortunate to have amazing support from my husband Mick, and my mum Brenda; not just taking me to and from hospital appointments and generally looking after me, but emotionally they are also there for me.
“On the day that my hair fell out, Mick shaved his to make the point we are in it together- shortly after mum did a sponsored head shave.
“I tried to buy wigs via the internet but that didn’t prove to be a good experience so when I heard about Julie Wakers’ wig bank I thought I would give it a try and booked a visit to St Luke’s.
“Not only was I put at ease and had a good laugh but at no time did I feel that I was rushed to make a decision and Julie made sure I was happy.”
Although still receiving treatment Wendy has, since October, been able to work from home and hopes to return to work full-time before summer.
If you have been affected by hair loss due to cancer treatment the wig bank may be able to help. All wigs are high quality and donated for re-use, many are new or have never been used.
All wigs are cleaned and conditioned and a minimum suggested charitable donation to the hospice is asked for in return. Confidential appointments can be made by contacting Julie on 07941 396992 – Appointments are now being made for Saturday, March 24.