Avera Race: Funding helps women find themselves during breast ca - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Race: Funding helps women find themselves during breast cancer fight

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We're just five weeks away from the 26th annual Avera Race Against Breast Cancer. 
Over the past few years we've helped you get race-ready and shared some memorable stories of survivors. This year we're showing you exactly where your money goes.

When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, her world turns upside down. Thousands of patients go through the Avera Cancer Institute to get the best treatment they can. When they do, one of their first stops is the wig salon. 

"As soon as she's diagnosed, they make an appointment with me," Del Lomheim said.  She's an Avera wig consultant. "It's much easier to pick a wig that's their color, their style, gives me a sense of what they have and what they're looking for." Lomheim is the Avera wig consultant and knows first hand as a cancer survivor herself how difficult that stage is between diagnosis and first treatment. 

"For a woman, the toughest part is the first thing they ask is if they take chemo, are they going to lose their hair. It's still her hair and it's just very important for her to continue looking like as much like she did before while she's going through treatment." 

Donna Scott knows that feeling all too well. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and has been cancer free for eight years. 

"In the first five to 10 minutes, I went through a variety of emotions from anger to fear to being panic-stricken. I finally settled down a little and proceeded on," breast cancer survivor Donna Scott.

Donna got her wig from Del at a private salon before Del even came to Avera. From there it was Donna's mission to get Del and this wig program here. And she did.

"I was so nervous the first day I had to look at a wig. In the overall scheme of thing, losing your hair is really a non-issue. But it's a total issue, the biggest and that shouldn't be but it is," Scott said. 

Each wig is about $150.00, but thanks to money raised from the race, patients get their first one for free. 

"There are so many women that wouldn't be able to afford the wig," Lomheim said. "So many expenses with cancer and this would be one less thing they have to worry about. When a lady turns around when I've had their own color and style, she smiles and says 'I look like me.' I think she thinks she can finish this journey and feel much better about it."

This year's race is May 10th. For more information, including how to register, click here.


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