Free wigs available to all cancer patients in region in new boutique at Edward Plainfield Cancer Center.
Wig boutique opens at Edward Plainfield Cancer Center
By Melissa Jenco | Daily Herald Staff
Knowing her chemotherapy treatments would cause her hair to fall out didn't make the experience any less traumatic for Lisa Burnoski.
The Plainfield woman recently woke up only to find much of it on her mattress.
|Lisa Burnoski (right), of
Plainfield, gets some styling
assistance from Maggie Hallock,
patient coordinator for
the American Cancer Society.
"It was like someone gave me a haircut in my bed," said Burnoski, 39. "It was just everywhere."
She cried as her husband shaved the rest.
But now Burnoski, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, has traded her purple bandanna for a free wig at the new American Cancer Society Wig Boutique in the Edward Plainfield Cancer Center.
The boutique celebrated its grand opening Wednesday at 24600 W. 127th St. in Plainfield and is one of the few that are hospital-based. Cancer survivors using the service don't have to be patients at Edward and are expected to come from numerous area communities.
The salon is decorated with the words, "A little laugh, a little promise, a little hope" and stocks more than 100 wigs for cancer patients. Trained volunteers will help them find the right one.
Debbie Fager, patient services representative for the American Cancer Society, said some stick with their natural color while others decide to be bold with a whole new look.
"It is so heartwarming inside to see a patient that came in hunched over, that came in kind of nervous and they stand a little straighter and they have a smile," said Fager, herself a cancer survivor.
Burnoski only had to try on about five until she found hers - a shoulder-length brown wig with golden highlights. The shade is just a little darker than her natural color.
"I feel more feminine, more beautiful," she said. "Normal."
Normal is not a word that has been part of Burnoski's life in recent months. She was diagnosed in March and has already undergone two chemotherapy treatments, a bilateral mastectomy and lymph node removal. She still has four chemotherapy treatments remaining and just over five weeks of daily radiation.
Burnoski said she is grateful for the support she has received from both the Edward Cancer Center and American Cancer Society.
She also was able to take part in another of the society's programs, "Look Good ... Feel Better," which provides cancer patients with $300 in makeup and a lesson from a cosmetologist who shows them how to care for their skin and nails during treatments.
The wigs and cosmetics are just a few of the society's programs, which also include rides to treatment.
"This year about 60,000 people across Illinois are going to hear those words, 'you have cancer,'" said Chris Hensley, the society's regional vice president. "What we hope is the next thing they hear is 'but there's help.'"
The Wig Boutique will initially be open by appointment only. Call (630) 932-1141 for details.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services