Cancer Support Community VVSB and My Fairy Godfathers Team up to Provide Wigs for People Affected by Cancer
Diagnosed with stage three breast cancer two months ago, Karin Hochevar knows she’s going to lose her hair when she starts chemotherapy in a few weeks.
So when she heard about a wig giveaway at the Cancer Support Community in Thousand Oaks in which she could obtain beautiful blond locks that look similar to her own, she jumped at the chance.
“I’m very, very grateful because having cancer is very stressful. It’s a lot of bad news, bad news, bad news, and this is good news,” said Hochevar, a Newbury Park resident. “This is one of the hardest parts, losing my hair. It’s like, yuck, I don’t want to lose my hair.”
On April 5, Hochevar, 51, was among 20 people with cancer who received a free wig made with real hair. The value of the wig was $400.
The philanthropic effort was made possible by Steven Anderson and Andrew Ashton, the founders of My Fairy Godfathers, a nonprofit organization.
After being fitted for a wig on top of her real hair, Hochevar was so happy with the results she decided to wear the wig for the rest of the day.
“This is adorbs. Look at how cute this is, I just love it,” she said while inspecting her image in the mirror after the wig fitting. “I’m just shocked at how great this looks.”
Anderson and Ashton are business partners and owners of LaPosh Salon in Clearwater, Fla. For the past year, they have been giving away wigs to cancer patients throughout the United States.
“Andrew and I designed this collection of wigs for (model) Iman; that’s how we ended up with these,” Anderson said. “They’re handmade, and they take three days to make one wig. So you’ve got a nice quality hairpiece.”
Helping women who have lost their hair due to cancer has been very rewarding, Ashton said.
“We love it. We’re in the business of making people pretty and feel beautiful, so this is just a way we can do it,” Ashton said. “Most women that are going through this tend to not feel like they look good. That’s why we make them feel good.”
Such was the case for Andrea Caldwell, whose breast cancer has spread to her spine and liver. She arrived at the wig giveaway wearing a bandana to cover her hairless head.
“I’m on chemo right now, and I had my total hysterectomy about seven days ago,” said Caldwell, a 46-year-old Moorpark resident who heard about the wig giveaway from the American Cancer Society’s connection at St. John’s in Oxnard.
Caldwell was fitted by Anderson with a long blond wig with curls. After looking at herself in the mirror, she was stunned at how realistic the wig looked.
“You wouldn’t know it wasn’t my real hair,” Caldwell said. “I don’t like going out without hair. I had long hair so it’s disgusting for me not to have hair. I won’t have hair for another year and a half, so this is my only way to have it.”
A 50-year-old woman from Thousand Oaks received a short brown wig that she said looked very similar to her own hair before she lost it all to chemotherapy.
She asked to remain anonymous because “it happened too quickly, and I’m still dealing with the shock.”
She was diagnosed with cancer when she turned 50 and underwent a double mastectomy.
“Now I’m getting chemo. It’s very hard to just deal with the fact that it happened,” she said. “I know there are good parts because it was detected early, but I lost my hair after the first chemo right away.”
After being fitted for her wig by Ashton, she said, “I feel normal. Some people don’t care if they have hair or not; they’ll go out in public and they’re really brave, but that’s not me.”
The Fairy Godfathers connected with the Cancer Support Community through Harriet Wasserman of Tarzana, whose daughter had breast cancer and received support from CWC in Thousand Oaks. Wasserman now serves on the nonprofit’s board of directors.
“Our mission at the Cancer Support Community is to provide free cancer support . . . and it just made sense to partner with My Fairy Godfathers,” said Denise Coulter, program assistant at the Cancer Support Community in Westlake Village.
“My Fairy Godfathers empowers women by providing them a welcome boost of confidence,” she said.
This story was originally printed in the Acorn. You can find the original article here.