My sister Margaret was first diagnosed with breast cancer 23 years ago. Twelve months later, my neighbour Di got diagnosed with cancer too. No-one in Di’s family had cancer, so she found it particularly hard. I contacted my sister and asked her to speak with Di to share her experiences. Di said speaking to Margaret was great, especially because she talked to her about everything.
When Margaret was diagnosed, she asked me to come and be with her – of course I said yes. At the time I knew nothing about breast cancer or the mastectomy procedure my sister was going to have. So, I called Cancer Council ACT. The woman I spoke to at Cancer Council ACT was fantastic. I think I was there about two hours. She helped answer my questions and showed me pictures. She was terrific. She even gave me contacts for Margaret in Melbourne.
I learned about the Wig Service from Lynne Webb and even though Margaret was fortunate enough not to lose her hair, I thought it was a good way I could help out. So, Di and I started volunteering at the Wig Service together – although back then I think it was called the Wig Library. Unfortunately, some of the volunteers who used to work at the Wig Service have since passed away from cancer.
I love coming into the Wig Service and feel like I’m helping. When people first come in, they are really apprehensive. You have them in here for a while, they try on a few wigs and then start to feel comfortable. Some even have a bit of fun and try on a wig they’d never dreamed of putting on. The best thing is seeing people leave here with a smile on their face.
I’ve been volunteering at Cancer Council ACT’s Wig Service for over 20 years. I keep volunteering, because I enjoy seeing the joy on people’s faces and knowing I’ve helped someone. I also like to get the message out there and to tell people about their fantastic Wig Service.