BREWER – A program in Brewer is helping women who are going through medical hair loss.
The director of the Image Project discussed how the initiative is helping them regain their confidence.
“It strengthened and softened me, and so I wanted to take that and I want to pour it into other people,” said Barbara Ford, director of the Image Project.
Ford was diagnosed with cancer in 2009.
“I had Stage 3 breast cancer but I had two types co-occurring,” Ford said.
She said one of the worst fears of going through treatment was losing her hair.
“I really struggled with that piece. Going to a hair shop and kind of watching people getting their haircut while I’m trying to deal with having no hair,” said Ford.
During that time, Ford said there were little resources available to help those dealing with medical hair loss.
“I went and got something I hated. I felt like it was wiggy and it looked big and it was very, very devastating,” said Ford.
After getting treatment, she said she wanted to help other women going through a similar experience.
“I think we get so focused on treatment that we forget that emotionally people are going through major changes and identity changes and who they are,” said Ford.
Brainstorming with another woman at the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer, they came up with the Image Project.
“Women can come in and either find a place of healing or a place of humor or whatever they want it to be, this is their space,” said Ford.
Shelves are stocked with 200 to 300 wigs of all cuts, colors, and sizes. Volunteers are on hand to show how to properly apply wigs, as well as care for them.
Ford says this project gives each woman a little piece of themselves back.
“We need to really empower them to feel strengthened and beautiful”
The wigs are free. For more information about the Image Project, contact Northern Light Cancer Center.