IN the lead-up to Daffodil Day on August 24, journalist Nadine Morton will be looking at the subject of cancer in our city – from the support services available for patients to the volunteers who offer love and compassion to those fighting the disease. This is the first part in a weekly series.
IT’S our crowning glory: the mane, locks, tresses or the fuzz. But, its loss is often associated with people who are undergoing treatment for cancer.
The Daffodil Cottage Wig Library began four years ago in a quiet, private corner of Bathurst Hospital and caring volunteers have since helped hundreds of people deal with hair loss.
Wig library volunteers Mandy Wilding and Heather Larnach; who have been there since the beginning, are quick with a laugh and also full of compassion for the people they help.
- Read more: What is Daffodil Day?
“To come into a place like this looking glum and to walk out with smiles on their faces makes it all worthwhile,” Ms Larnach said of the more than 200 clients they have helped.
People undergoing treatment for cancer seek help from the library, as do those suffering hair loss from alopecia and stress.
Some ladies come to the door crying, some have been at the front door talking to their husband because they’re feeling anxious. It is quite emotional.Daffodil Cottage Wig Library volunteer Mandy Wilding
Ms Wilding said many women with cancer report that hair loss makes them “look sick” or “like a cancer patient”.
“Some ladies come to the door crying, some have been at the front door talking to their husband because they’re feeling anxious. It is quite emotional,” she said.
Story continues under video
Ms Wilding said for some women, the deliberate decision to have their thinning hair shaved and to wear a wig is one of empowerment.
“Some get to the stage where they think ‘it’s the one decision in my cancer journey where I can make a decision’,” she said.
An average three women a week come in to the library looking for a wig to help boost their confidence during treatment. Recently double that number of women have knocked on the door for help.
Ms Larnach said the wig library is a very private and supportive environment.
“We shave their head, massage beautiful Moroccan hot oil into their heads, fit their wig and then they walk out with a smile,” she said.
Ms Wilding said she and Ms Larnach are “really approachable, we’re volunteers and we do this because we love it,”.
“They [potential clients] shouldn’t be worried about coming to see us,” she said.
The Daffodil Cottage Wig Library is stocked with more than 250 wigs, and just like other libraries, people can choose to come back, make a return and borrow a new style.
Synthetic or real hair wigs are available.
We shave their head, massage beautiful Moroccan hot oil into their heads, fit their wig and then they walk out with a smile.Daffodil Cottage Wig Library volunteer Heather Larnach
Wigs are $50 and available for as long as they are needed and each one includes a bamboo turban.
The Daffodil Cottage Wig Library receives no government assistance and is funded by the Bathurst community.
For more information, visit Daffodil Wig Library on Facebook or call 0428 665 632.