EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT)– Cancer patients now have an oasis to turn to as hair loss and other physical attributes change during treatment. Karen’s Wig Shop is now open and ready to pamper women in this most difficult time. This is an expansion of Chemo Buddies’ programs, an organization which started with the mission of giving cancer patients a better experience during chemo.
Karen’s Wig Shop was a dream Karen Wilhite Williams had more than 10 years ago when she was battling cancer.
“One of the worst experiences of her chemo journey was the hair loss and trying to find a wig and she went out of town, took several trips to try to find one that fit her and her personality. It was crazy expensive. It [her wig] was several thousand dollars and cancer treatment is also crazy expensive,” said Jill Kincaid, founder of Chemo Buddies.
“Karen, who Chemo Buddies is all about, Karen Williams, was my best friend for about thirty years. One of her wig experiences was when we went to Louisville and it was a better experience for her,” said Gail Knight Williams, executive director of Chemo Buddies. “She tried on many wigs and did go through several trials and tribulations before she actually had a good experience.”
Now women fighting cancer can go to this wig shop to try on wigs, get their makeup done, and take home some skincare made specifically for people undergoing chemo. All these services are completely free. Karen’s Wig Shop is located in the St. Vincent Medical Arts Building.
Even though Karen passed away in 2011, her little sister Jill Kincaid, who founded Chemo Buddies in Karen’s honor, said she knows Karen is smiling down on everyone as her dream finally becomes a reality.
“She was my big bossy sister and she’d probably say, ‘What took you so long?’ But she would be so proud and so pleased because this is just a big piece of her heart,” said Kincaid.
Chemo Buddies have given out free wigs to cancer patients in the past at the treatment sites, but now they have a designated zen room to have a one on one pampering session.
“It was so thrilling when a lady came in who couldn’t afford a wig and I said, ‘You know I have a wig in the back that I think would look really good on you and I would bring it out and they were just speechless,” explained Janice Pugh, Chemo Buddies volunteer.
The wigs have been donated by both area hospitals and previous patients who had gently used wigs. You must make an appointment with Chemo Buddies to pick out your free wig. To book your appointment call: (812) 598-7910.