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1,000 Wigs Given Away To Cancer Patients

December 21, 2010, 6:11 PM by Kelli Grant

1,000 Wigs Given Away To Cancer Patients
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Part of the battle to cure cancer often is losing your hair. For women, with every strand can go their identity. But the Bloom Boutique at Sanford is changing that one wig at a time. Recently Bloom gave away its 1,000th wig to a woman fighting cancer.

50-year-old Pam Mathison was diagnosed with colon cancer on October 26. Just a few weeks into chemotherapy treatments, her hair began to fall out.

"I find it on my pillow, but I also can feel my scalp," Mathison said.

Mathison says feeling her hair fall out doesn't get her down, rather it keeps her going.

"I just look at it as, it's gonna be part of my cure," Mathison said.

But what's also keeping her going and feeling good is a wig that looks almost identical to what her hair looked like just months ago.

"I love it. It's easy and it's fun and unbelievably, so many people haven't even really realized it's a wig. They've said comments like, 'Wow, you really haven't lost any of your hair,' Mathison said.

Mathison is now just one woman out of a thousand who have been given this gift.

At Bloom, women diagnosed with cancer at Sanford get to choose one wig at no charge.

"Something when we first opened that we didn't ever imagine. Well, we didn't know what we were going to do. So a thousand wigs is unbelievable," certified cosmetologist Donna Harrison said.

Harrison is trained to fit and alter wigs. It's thanks to her these 1,000 women have gained a little piece of themselves back.

"A lot of times when they come in, they've maybe just found out or just been diagnosed and us women that's the first thing we think of is, 'What am I going to do without my hair?' Harrison said.

They go short or long, straight or curly. Harrison says most, like Mathison, stick to what they know but a handful try something new.

Mathison says receiving this gift makes her want to help others going through treatment because something as simple as hair has made her feel better inside and out.

"This is one thing and I can look in the mirror and it's like, 'It's me,' Mathison said.

If you're not getting you cancer treatments at Sanford but would still like a wig, your doctor can write a prescription for it and you can purchase one for a reduced price.

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