The day that I was diagnosed with cancer, I was given a prescription for a “cranial prosthesis.” A wig. I picked one out at a local wig shop that cost around $1,000. When I went to check out, I was told that Medicare did not cover the cost so I would have to pay for it. I did not buy it.

A few days later, I went to have my hair done for the last time prior to starting chemo and radiation. Not everyone loses their hair but I wanted to be prepared. My hairdresser told me about a little-known program sponsored by the American Cancer Society, Maine Health, and Empire School for Hairdressers. They provide a one-time wig for cancer patients whose insurance does not cover it or if they do not have insurance. I was fitted for a wig later that day. Two days later, I picked it up. It had been colored and styled to my specifications and looked beautiful.

Empire provides free wigs regardless of income. It is part of the “Feel Good, Look Better” program sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Call and make an appointment at Empire School. At that time, you will be shown wigs that are available and fitted for one. Students, along with their instructors, style and color the wig and it is available within a few days.

Bonnie Jewett

South Portland