A Naperville Wig Boutique

Among the hardships of battling cancer, a woman’s hair loss can be truly devastating.

But a partnership between two local organizations is helping take away that added stress.

A stomachache landed Naperville resident, Dee Fors in the doctor’s office for some tests, and by process of elimination, she learned about her cancer. Her diagnosis was Colon cancer, already in stage four.

“You think it only happens to other people, and there’s no sign of having cancer. You don’t know. It’s not like you break your leg and you can limp around, it just happens. And it is very, very terrorizing,” said Fors.

Throughout her chemo, Fors lost her hair, but gained back her confidence after being the first customer of the DuPage Medical Group’s wig boutique at their Cancer Resource Center.

Retail cost of a wig starts at about $100, with human-hair wigs costing roughly $500. But since the boutique’s opening in February of 2011, local cancer patients receive a wig at no cost.

Patient Resources Volunteer, Mary Armario’s son had cancer, and she can relate to the people she helps in the boutique. “No matter who you are, what you are, what position in life you have, it helps everyone,” she said.

The free wig program is supported by the American Cancer Society and the Patient Services Program of the DuPage County region for anyone going through chemo.

“It’s great when the wig boutique is in the hospital, so when they get their infusion they can go get a wig, and walk to infusion. You can just see how confident she is, and that gives the other patients hope, and it really gives a lighter atmosphere to the infusion center,” explained Debbie Fager, Patient Services Representative for the Dupage County branch of the American Cancer Society.

Boutique staff members are trained volunteers who have oftentimes been struck by cancer in some way. They are there to help patients find their perfect wig, but that’s not all they do. “We do a lot of listening, too. The patients come in, and they need to talk. They need to hear from somebody who has been down that road. Or has somehow been touched by cancer, and is compassionate. So we are here just to make them feel better,” said Armario.

“The best thing is to find the American Cancer Society and other survivors or people going through it to share experiences and to be able to find ways to solve your daily problems. And there are many that come with chemotherapy,” explains Fors, survivor of stage four colon cancer.

The American Cancer Society serves more than 5,000 communities nationwide

The boutique is just one of the many services provided by the American Cancer Society. The DuPage County region also offers free wigs for men and children.

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Virtual FUNdraiser on Thursday, October 22 at 7 PM.

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