It's a diagnosis that no one wants to hear, cancer. But that diagnosis doesn't have to become a death sentence.
It's a job that Del Lomheim has done for the past two decades, but it's a job that never gets old.
"We have probably 40 different styles to choose from and hundreds of colors, we try to get as close as we can." Said Lomheim.
As a wig stylist at the Avera Cancer Center, Del helps women touched by cancer to look good and feel good.
"I've heard so many of them say it's easier to lose a breast then to lose your hair, the hair is the outward sign that something is wrong when we don't have it so if we can make that woman have a little bit more self-esteem and feel more comfortable while she's going through her journey that's what we're trying to do." Said Lomheim.
Amy Morrison is right in the middle of her battle with cancer. In April, she received her own wig and with it some extra confidence.
"That I'll have a sense of normalcy, that I don't have to stand out as the bald lady in the parking lot or whatever there's some things about this disease that just identify you immediately as a cancer patient and you can hide that with a wig that really does give you a sense of security." Said Morrison.
Getting fitted for a wig is a delicate process in and of itself. It marks the beginning of a change that is not always easy for a woman to accept.
"I grab a wig that I think is going to be close to what they're used to I put it on them and I comb it before I even let them see it and then I warn them well this is somewhat your style but it's gray color and your blonde so they have to use their imagination." Said Lomheim.
Being a breast cancer survivor and having gone through the process herself, Del knows exactly what women like Amy are feeling and how to make this process a more joyful experience.
"Really she stayed focused on me and just made it feel really personal for me." Said Morrison.
It's all about finding the right cut, color, and style. Then the fears slowly begin to disappear.
"The wigs have been totally improved in the last two years they're much more natural looking and they're not uncomfortable so they have to just realize once they're in here and they get to choose some styles it's not as scary as they thought." Said Lomheim.
What sets this program apart is that every woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer, their wig is completely paid in full. It's been taken care of with each step of every mile during the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer.
"People can see what their money and their contributions or donations and running in that race really do it helps these women just feel so much better about themselves while they're going through the treatment so it is just a wonderful fundraiser and we have so much to be thankful for that we have that backing here." Said Lomheim.
Cancer is a word no one wants to hear but Amy is the perfect example of how something as simple as a head full of hair can make all the difference in the life of a cancer patient.
"This is a new season of my life I'm going to grow spiritually emotionally and physically just there's so many things that are gonna change my hair should change to because it just marked a transition of my life." Said Morrison.
Attitude can make all the difference and like the name implies, if you look good you'll feel good!
"Hopefully just gives them a better attitude thinking, you know what I am a strong person I think I can do this." Said Lomheim.
Amy Morrison has blogged about her battle with cancer and if you'd like to follow her journey to recovery just click here.
For more information about the wig program just call 877-AT-AVERA.