Goal of ‘Day of Pampering’: Making Cancer Patients Smile

Goal of ‘Day of Pampering’: Making Cancer Patients Smile

Cassidy, a cancer patient, shows off her new wig after a day of pampering at City of Hope on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.

The mood Monday in the Kaplan Family Pavilion at the City of Hope in Duarte brightened as women with breast cancer beamed while they were fitted for wigs as part of a “day of pampering.”

Over 100 women with cancer lined up at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center to undergo wig fittings and hair consultations as a way to make them “feel alive” again, according to an event news release. 

“A lot of (the patients) were laughing and smiling,” said Cassie Polchow, a licensed cosmetologist who works in the hospital’s Positive Imaging Center. “Some of them even had happy tears because they were so excited and so grateful to be getting a free wig, let alone from a celebrity.”

“It was all happiness today and excitement and giggling and laughing,” she said.

Polchow said the cancer patients appreciate the transformations so much because many of them can’t afford the costs of the wigs — the average of which can be up to $250 — due to medical bills.

The event, now in its fifth year, was organized by actress Jaclyn Smith, a breast cancer survivor, and celebrity hairstylist Jose Eber. Smith donated the wigs, while Eber and his team of stylists customized them for each woman.

Chemotherapy takes a toll physically and emotionally and battling those side effects can put a damper on a woman’s confidence level. 

“A lot of times people don’t understand what it’s like to lose their hair and their eyelashes and their brows,” Polchow said. “Being able to give back and show them the tools and the resources that they can have while going through this to make the process easier – that’s our goal.”

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