I Wear Pink: American Cancer Society Wig Banks

By Melissa Long
By Eric Dutkiewicz

July 22, 2012 Updated Jul 22, 2012 at 8:52 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - For many women battling breast cancer, worries go beyond the disease itself. Often times, the physical appearance of life without hair from cancer treatments is a big obsticle for cancer patients.

In Indiana's NewsCenter's monthly I Wear Pink campaign for breast cancer awareness, we look at the wig bank service provided by the American Cancer Society.

Through the genorosity of many businesses, the American Cancer Society runs nine wig banks across Northeast Indiana. Officials say the free service is a boost for women in their fight against cancer.

"Every place is like a private setting," Amanda Turner, health initiative coordinator for American Cancer society said. "A hairdresser that can actually come in, fit the wig to them, make it fit their face, their body, their skin tone - everything."

Masters of Cosmetology is one of the generous local businesses that helps select and fit wigs. Co-owner Kaydean Geist stresses the importance of finding the right fit for women in their time of need.

"Hair is the crowning glory for most any woman I know," Geist said. "Once you lost that hair, your personality completely changes. So, not only are you sick, but you don't look good."

Employees at Masters of Cosmetology, like Mandi Reinholt, they have become more than hairdressers, but often a sort of therapist that builds relationships their clients.

"One thing I recommend is getting the wig before starting treament," Reinholt said. "Once the hair starts falling out, it won't be such a shock, and it can feel more normal."

If you or anyone you know may be interested in the wig banks, contact the American Cancer Society patient services at 1-800-227-2345.

The I Wear Pink effort is a partnership between Indiana's NewsCenter and Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center to remind women of all ages the importantance of self breast exams.

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