Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) offers a wide range of services and resources to support cancer patients through each step of their journey – from diagnosis and treatment to recovery and wellness. Recognizing that hair loss during cancer treatment can be a challenge for many, NCH teamed up with the American Cancer Society to open a Wig Boutique on the Hospital campus in late 2011. To date, the Wig Boutique has helped numerous cancer patients to start feeling better both inside and out.
"Hair loss can impact a patient's self-image and self-esteem," says Kim Jensen, oncology social worker at NCH. "Beautiful wigs can be a confidence builder and help restore a patient's sense of normalcy."
The Wig Boutique offers a private consultation and fitting, a brand new wig, and other accessories as available – all at no cost to the patient. The Boutique has a wide selection of synthetic wigs, as well as a small collection of hats. Jensen adds that patients are sure to find the perfect style, color, and accessory to match their lifestyle and personal preference.
The wigs are supplied by the American Cancer Society, while salon manufacturer Belvedere USA LLS furnished the Boutique with its donation of a station, mirror, chair and cabinet to house the wigs. The local community also has shown its support. Most notably was the $1,000 donation made last fall by players of PREP Hockey, a combined team representing four area high schools. The funds have enabled the Boutique to offer the varied selection of wigs it has today.
The positive feedback from patients has illustrated just how valuable a cancer support resource, like the Wig Boutique, can be for those undergoing treatment. One patient was pleasantly surprised at how much time staff spent with her trying on wigs and hats before finally finding the right match. Another grateful patient said, "I was equally surprised when I found out there was no charge for the wig. What a wonderful feeling to know this program is in place for those of us with cancer. Thank you for a wonderful experience!"
The Wig Boutique is located on the fifth floor of the Hospital's Busse Center for Specialty Medicine. Hours of operation are limited, so consultations and fittings are by appointment only. NCH encourages patients who are considering a wig to schedule a free consultation before treatment begins. Patients can make an appointment by contacting the American Cancer Society at 800.227.2345 and indicating the NCH location.