Cancer is a life-changing diagnosis and the hair loss associated with some cancer treatments can be devastating. According to a recent study, nearly 60-percent of women consider hair loss the most dreaded side effect of undergoing chemotherapy.

To provide patients with a local resource to offset this discouraging side effect, Memorial Hospital of Union County recently began partnering with the American Cancer Society to establish a “wig bank” called Fitting Hope Wig Collection. At no cost to the patient, the bank provides wigs for any woman undergoing chemotherapy, no matter where she receives her treatment or what type of cancer she’s fighting.

“We’ve been able to serve several local women thanks to our partnership,” says Noreen Runyan, wig bank coordinator at Memorial Hospital and leader of its Cancer Support Group. “Establishing a local wig bank has made it much more convenient for these inspiring ladies to feel beautiful, helping to reduce some anxiety and stress during an otherwise difficult time.”

At the wig bank, any woman experiencing hair loss as a result of cancer treatment can receive a free, brand-new wig. The collection includes a variety of wigs, with real or synthetic hair and styles that range from modern to traditional in various lengths and shades. Women also have the option to select a wig and then take it to their stylist for any desired modifications.

To select a wig, interested women should schedule a fitting appointment with Runyan who encourages them to bring a family member or friend if they’d like. “I also use the time with the ladies to see if there are other needs they may have,” shares Runyan. “There are many community resources available from financial assistance and help with transportation to a cancer support group that focuses on the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges cancer poses.”

The wig bank is just one part of the comprehensive cancer services Memorial Hospital offers. Many oncology services are offered, ranging from routine lab work to chemotherapy treatments, helping to minimize the travel needed for patients to receive the care they need.

Services include:

  • Expert physician care
  • Specially trained nurses
  • Chemotherapy treatments
  • Diagnostic testing such as mammography, colonoscopies, minimally invasive biopsies, and PET/CT scans
  • Comprehensive clinical team review of oncology patients
  • Designated chemotherapy pharmacist on staff
  • PICC line and port insertions
  • Routine lab work
  • Social services
  • Nutrition guidance
  • Wigs and breast prostheses

Interested women should call Noreen Runyan at (937) 578-2237 to schedule a fitting appointment. Additionally, the Cancer Support Group meets on the third Wednesday each month at 11:00am in the Terra Room at Memorial Hospital for those interested.

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