In honour of its Daffodil Days Cancer Awareness Month, the Canadian Cancer Society is working on a very special project to brighten the lives of cancer patients in the Kingston area.
According to the organization, an average of 565 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer and around 221 lose their fight to the disease every day.
“I am very hopeful that one day, we won’t fear cancer like we do today,” said 25-year-old Brock Powell, who recently beat testicular cancer.
Treating cancer often requires chemotherapy, and a common side effect of the treatment is hair loss. Many patients opt for wigs to regain their self-confidence and feel good.
“They’re having the worst days of their lives. They’ve suffered hair loss, they aren’t feeling very good about themselves,” explained Doug Kane, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington area.
The Canadian Cancer Society is in the process of building a wig room that will allow women and children with cancer to pick up wigs free of cost and help them feel their best during tough times.
Sylvie Fisher, a hairstyling apprentice at the All Hair Alternatives & Bea’s Mastectomy, works with cancer patients daily by helping them select wigs.
“When they come in, they’re usually either overwhelmed, upset or stressed so we try to alleviate some of that stress. That makes them walk out with a smile on their face, their self-confidence comes back and they’re a whole lot happier,” said Fisher.
The Canadian Cancer Society is hoping to provide that experience for cancer patients through its wig room.
“They can try (the wigs) on, take them; it’s like a lending library. At the end of the day, they leave with a wig, and it seems like they’re leaving with sort of a new lease on life and a renewed hope,” said Kane.
The organization is hoping to open the wig room to cancer patients in Kingston and the surrounding areas in the first week of May.