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
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 Kathy.Timmermann@hshs.org or
618-526-5672. For scarf donations
through Kaskaskia College, contact Cathy Karrick at 618-545-3182.