The Wig Program at Avera Cancer Institute - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

The Wig Program at Avera Cancer Institute

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We're just over four weeks from the 26th annual Avera Race Against Breast Cancer. In years past, we've helped you get race-ready and shared some memorable stories of Breast Cancer 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. It's much easier to pick a wig that's there color, their style, gives me a sense of what they have and what they're looking for," Wig Consultant Del Lomheim said

Del 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," Del Lomheim said.

Donna Scott knows that feeling all too well. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2004 and has been cancer-free for 8 years.

"In the first 5-10 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 said.

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 the wig program to Avera Cancer Institute. 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. Thanks to money raised at the race, patients get their first one free.

"There are so many women that wouldn't be able to afford the wig. So many expenses with cancer and this would be one less thing they have to worry about," Lomheim said. "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 about race day and how to donate, visit the following link: http://www.averaracesiouxfalls.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1081017 

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