Mannequin with a wigPatients who receive a cancer diagnosis face several challenges, including dealing with changes in their physical appearance during and after treatment. Many of those who suffer hair loss following chemotherapy find that wigs play an integral part in helping to boost their self-image. These wigs, however, can be very expensive and may pose a hardship for patients. To provide wigs for those who are underinsured or who do not have the means to purchase one, the LVC Retail Shops have launched a program called Share for Hair.

For several years, the LVC has provided wigs free of charge to patients in need through Images Boutique, with 75 gifted last year. The Share for Hair program provides a way for customers of the shops to donate money to offset the cost of purchasing these wigs. At the hospital gift shops—located in the White and Yawkey buildings at the Massachusetts General Hospital main campus, MGH Danvers and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital—customers are asked at the checkout if they would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the program. According to Shannon Babitt Hoyt, LVC buyer for the MGH General Store, no donation is too small.

“People don’t realize how important hair can be until you don’t have it any longer,” says Hoyt. “Any amount donated to this new program gives back a lot more than just money; you are directly helping people through their illness in a way that is meaningful to them.”

Kathleen Bazazi, manager of MGH Images Boutiques, says when patients receive a wig, it often changes their perspective. “By the time we see them in Images, patients have already been dealing a while with their diagnosis and many of them haven’t really given any thought about buying a wig. Choosing and wearing the right wig often makes an enormous difference in their outlook and their spirit.”

For more information about Share for Hair, contact Bazari at 617-726-3211.