Cancer Council Queensland is reaching out to Queensland women who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatment, offering free wigs and turbans in a time of need.
Women diagnosed with cancer can borrow a wig or turban, free of charge, for the duration of their treatment through Cancer Council Queensland’s innovative ESA Wig and Turban Service.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said raising awareness of the service was vital to ensuring that women knew that there was support available.
“Hair loss can be one of the most distressing side effects of cancer treatment, which is why we’re reaching out to help,” Ms McMillan said.
“This year across Queensland, the ESA Wig and Turban Service has loaned out more than 293 wigs and 735 turbans to Queenslanders in need.
“This service brings hope and confidence to those affected by cancer – and aids in reducing the economic burden of cancer on an individual and their family.
“Our ESA Wig and Turban Service offers a warm and friendly environment where individuals can come for an appointment with a trained staff or volunteer to have a wig fitted.
“We have a wide range of wigs in various colours and lengths to suit any complexion, or if clients would prefer a turban, we offer these in a variety of styles, colours and patterns.”
Brisbane local Kira Waldron used the service this year and said it offered her hope at a time when she needed it most.
Days after getting engaged she was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 28 years of age, and lost her hair just weeks before she was set to tie the knot.
“When I lost my hair it was really difficult for me to deal with,” Ms Waldron said.
“I didn’t want to look back at wedding photos in 20 years and only be reminded about having cancer – I wanted to look back and remember the happy times.”
“I know that trying on wigs is a special and emotional journey for everyone, however mine was very important to me as it was for my wedding.”
“The wig looked so real. So many guests completely forgot that I had no hair and I was sick, so it was a very special day.”
While the journey isn’t over for Ms Waldron yet, she has finished treatment and had a double mastectomy and is looking forward to returning back to work.
Each of Cancer Council’s offices and accommodation lodges, including Brisbane, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Gold Coast, Bundaberg and the Sunshine Coast, are equipped with a wig and turban loan library.
Ms McMillan said the service was made possible by ESA International and the inspirational volunteers who dedicated their time, energy and goodwill to help those in need.
“The incredible thing about this service is that it is mainly run by volunteers – we have volunteers helping with fittings and sewing hundreds of turbans each year,” Ms McMillan said.
“Having adequate support and care throughout a cancer journey is vital and enables patients to better cope with treatment and lifestyle changes that occur.”
One person is diagnosed with cancer every 20 minutes in Queensland – more than 27,000 each year.
For more information or to book an appointment with the ESA Wig and Turban Service, please call Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 or visit cancerqld.org.au.
The ESA Wig and Turban service is part of the charity’s comprehensive range of practical support services, which includes counselling, peer support, accommodation assistance and more.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Cancer Council Queensland,
Mobile: 0409 001 171