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Wigs for well-being



Hair loss can be a nasty side-effect from difficult cancer treatment, and for many women battling cancer, losing their hair can be psychologically devastating.

The Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation recognizes the importance of ensuring that people with cancer have access to wigs to gain back their confidence and sense of self. Pacific Blue Cross recently provided $150,000 to be gifted over five years to the Canadian Cancer Society's Wig Bank program in British Columbia.

"Volunteer programs like the Wig Bank help to lift the wellbeing of so many British Columbians at a very vulnerable time in their lives," says Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation chair Richard Taylor. "We're honoured to be associated with this very special program, which reaches into so many communities across the province."

And 38 year-old Vancouver resident Corinne Schelle couldn't be more grateful. After being diagnosed with cervical cancer related to the human papillomavirus, Corinne spent her son's first birthday getting ready for a radical hysterectomy. After the surgery, Corinne learned she would require further treatment: in her case, 25 rounds of radiation, accompanied by four rounds of a low dose chemotherapy to bolster the radiation's effectiveness, followed by another three rounds of full chemotherapy that would cause her to lose her hair.

Corinne didn't feel particularly devastated by the loss of her hair, and embraced being bald. But when she learned about the wig bank at the Society’s Jean C Barber Lodge, she decided to give it a try.

"I know that my hair will eventually grow back, but in the meantime I have a beautiful wig made with real hair that I can cut, colour, and style however I want," says Corinne. "Getting the wig was such a great experience, and best of all it was free! I still can't really believe it."

The Society operates wig banks across the country, as well as at other community locations across the province. To find a wig room close to you call an information specialist at 1-888-939-3333.