KC Cosmetology Students Help with St. Joseph’s Cancer Care Closet

St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese has established a Cancer Care Closet that provides free wigs, scarves, and other items to women with cancer.


Under the program, large numbers of wigs are donated, which are sent to the Kaskaskia College Cosmetology program to be cleaned and readied for use.


“We get 40 to 60 wigs at a time,” said KC Cosmetology Coordinator Professor Chris Browne.  “We have fun washing the wigs and it gives our students an easy introduction to wig care, and it is a great way for us to give back to those who are in need.”


Kathy Timmermann, a Marketing and Communications Specialist at St. Joseph’s, began the Cancer Care Closet two years ago to house the hospital’s longstanding Wig-Loan program as well as an official American Cancer Society Wig Closet. She found that it filled a great need for area cancer patients.  “Patients can come even before treatment to choose from our wigs, hats and scarves to find something that is close to their natural hair, or an accent to brighten their look,” she said.


Kathy also hosts a quarterly “Look Good Feel Better” American Cancer Society event. Trained volunteer Cosmetologists meet with women undergoing treatment for cancer and teach them how to apply makeup and use wigs and other accents to make themselves look good, which has the effect of brightening their outlook.  “It’s a fun night,” Kathy said. “Each patient leaves with a kit of products donated by the cosmetics companies.”  Kathy finds these efforts very rewarding.  “It’s nice to make people smile,” she said.  The last session for 2014 is Wed., Oct. 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and registration is required. These services, as well as the wigs, hats, and scarves are free to all area patients, not just those from St. Joseph’s.


Kathy displayed several cabinets in the Closet filled with wigs, scarves, and hats.  Kaskaskia College has begun coordinating an effort to collect scarves for the project, including a “Scarf Week” promotion by the Cosmetology department.


For more information or to schedule a visit to the Cancer Care Closet, or to register for the Look Good Feel Good program, please contact Kathy at or 618-526-5672.  For scarf donations through Kaskaskia College, contact Cathy Karrick at 618-545-3182.


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