When only a wig will do

IN a bid to help lift the spirits of local women undergoing harsh cancer treatments, Gippsland Women’s Health Service has expanded its wig bank, thanks to a donation from the Commonwealth Bank’s Sale branch.

With the grant, the health service was able to buy another nine wigs, along with bags of special shampoo, conditioner, brushes and styling guidebooks.

They will be loaned free of charge to local women experiencing hair loss as a result of chemotherapy or radiotherapy while undergoing cancer treatment.

The wigs were bought with a $1000 grant from the Commonwealth Bank as part of its centenary celebrations.

GWHS support officer Robin Wall said the wig bank, which had been operating out of the health service’s Sale office for the past three years, had helped dozens of women from across Gippsland keep their spirits high as they battled cancer.

“Hair loss is arguably one of the worst side effects for any woman undergoing cancer treatment,” Ms Wall said.

“It can result in a loss of a sense of self, a loss of pride and confidence.

“Wearing a wig, especially one of the high-quality ones we have here, can help give a woman her confidence back and help her feel normal again — like a woman again.”

Ms Wall said women needing wigs often came in with their friends and had fun trying on different styles.

“Women will often come into us in a fragile state, and most of the time will leave in a much better frame of mind.”

The donation was part of celebrations held this month state-wide by the Commonwealth Bank, in recognition of 100 years since it opened its first branch in 1912.

Sale branch manager, Ben Emery, said he was proud to be able to help out the community.

“Rather than receive a gift, the Commonwealth Bank decided it would rather give one,” he said.

“The bank is very proud of its support of women of the years, and in continuing that tradition, we’re very proud to be able to help out the Gippsland Women’s Health Service.”

Any women wishing to borrow a wig or wanting to know more about GHWS’ wig bank program can phone the service on 5143 1600.