Wig Room Helps Patients Self-Image Soar

Oncology staff members at Ascension St. Mary’s Towne Centre, have found a way to help cancer patients boost their self esteem during cancer treatments - a new wig room.


The Ascension St. Mary’s oncology team has hosted various fundraisers to launch a patient wig room. This calm, quiet room is filled with items to help patients feel good about themselves during treatment.


Chemotherapy-induced hair loss has been shown to lower patient self-esteem and deprive patients of their privacy because the public commonly associates hair loss with cancer. “Patients can benefit from the wigs, hats, scarves to help them feel beautiful on the inside and outside,” said Angelina Porras, Practice Supervisor at Ascension Medical Group Medical Oncology & Hematology. 


Developing the wig room has been a goal of Porras since she began working with cancer patients in 2016. “Besides the cancer diagnosis, losing your hair is one of the scariest things for the ladies and men. I want them to be able to feel beautiful. I want them to come into the wig room and pick out a wig and not worry about the cost. I want them to leave the building and feel special,” said Porras. 

 

“Losing hair is a devastating experience for our patients and our wig room makes it less challenging. It helps boost their self esteem,” said oncologist, Asma Taj, MD. “Thank you to our staff for helping our male and female patients find a wig or hat that fits their personality. You can see their confidence soar immediately.” 

 

According to oncologist Ernie Balcueva, MD, “The financial burden of cancer care can sometimes be so overwhelming that any support we can give to our patients (and their families), to assist them in the transition of their life, becomes an empowerment in their fight against cancer. We care very much about improving their quality of life and the wig room is a very small part of helping them.” 


Dennis Durek was the first patient to utilize the room. "Thanks to the staff for the supplies. It was fun, being the first one to use the room. It is really cool for people who need wigs and such. It is a wonderful way to help people. Every little bit helps improve our spirits,” said Durek. 

 

"I can get through chemo, but the hardest thing was losing my hair and the wig room helped," said patient Amy Delgado. 

 

The wig room needs ongoing donations to support supplies. If you are interested in contributing please click here https://stmarysofmichiganfoundation.org/donate/donate-to-ascension-st-marys-foundation---saginaw or contact the Ascension St. Mary’s Foundation office at 989-907-8300.