Wigs for Kids®
Helping Children Look Themselves
… And Live Their Lives Again
For more than 27 years, Wigs for Kids® has provided thousands of custom-made hair replacement systems to children experiencing hair loss due to cancer, alopecia, burns, accidents, and other medical circumstances. In 2007, the number one reason for hair loss by children receiving wigs from Wigs for Kids was due to cancer.
Wigs for Kids was started after Jeffrey and Zina Paul, well-respected hairstylists, were approached by their niece, Laura, who had been diagnosed with leukemia. Undergoing chemotherapy, she lost her hair, yet wanted to remain active in her daily life without embarrassment or teasing from other children. Jeffrey went to work and developed a custom piece to fit his niece. As they say, “the rest is history.” Since then, thousands of children nationwide have received custom hairpieces from Wigs for Kids.
When children lose their hair, they don’t just suffer physically. The change in their appearance can drastically undermine their self-image and sabotage their self-esteem. To combat this additional trauma, Jeffrey and Zina founded the organization, making it their mission to help children “look themselves and live their lives.”
Thousands of children nationwide have received custom hairpieces from Wigs for Kids.
Wigs for Kids does not charge its recipients, which is why the generosity and support of caring individuals across the country to help in organizing fundraising events, cut-a-thons, and other activities means so much.
It takes 20 to 30 ponytails and $1,800 to $3,000 to create one custom hairpiece. Each strand of human hair is hand-tied into the system, which is designed based on the lifestyle, illness, and activity level of the child. Photos and color samples are used in designing the piece to make it as natural as possible.
The lives that Wigs for Kids has touched are amazing. One mom states, “You have no idea how grateful we are to this organization. You gave my daughter her life and brought her back to me. She was so depressed due to her hair loss and how people looked at her; she doesn’t have to worry about that any more.”
“To see the look on the face of a child when they receive their first wig … it is priceless,” states Susan Ross, executive director. “For some who have never had hair, we get to share in their first haircut. For others, it is a sigh of relief that they look themselves and they can live their lives again, without the embarrassment of hair loss. That is the best gift.”
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Contact Wigs for Kids at www.wigsforkids.org or (440) 333-4433.
This article was originally published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, January/February 2008.