American Cancer Society offers wigs for women

By Caroline Goggin

July 22, 2014 Updated Jul 22, 2014 at 11:20 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The American Cancer Society in the Greater Binghamton area is offering women with cancer the opportunity to receive a wig or head scarf free of charge.

This meant a lot to many women who have cancer and have felt the effects of it.

"They figured it out, it has to go and you have to deal with it,” said Shirley Palmer, who wears a wig. “It seems like every step along the way there's just one more thing to deal with."

For Palmer, one of those steps in her cancer treatment was chemotherapy.

Another step that followed was losing her hair.

However, what she found when she visited the American Cancer Society was that no woman who has cancer should have to look it.

"My number one thing is to spoil them and make it feel like it's a fun time, not a doctor appointment, or radiation, or a chemo appointment," said Jeanne Hazen of the American Cancer Society.

All of the appointments can make the battle harder for cancer patients.

However, Palmer told Action News it is important to look past it.

"When you hear cancer, there's a whole ladder of emotions. It's really not very describable,” said Palmer. “You just have to be humorous about it and deal the best way to can. Mine is humor."

It is also through the support of friends and family, like her friend Margie, who suggested attending the wig fitting.

"Knowing Shirley I thought., 'She's going to make the best of it and I have to too as her friend,'” said Margie Casey, Shirley’s friend. “So, I just told her whenever you need me call and we joke around on the phone and it's been okay."

For Shirley, attitude is everything, especially when bearing physical and financial burdens.

"It's a very, very expensive disease, but as I said, the American Cancer Society is right there with you the whole way," added Palmer.

If you or someone you know is interested in receiving a free wig, hat, or head scarf, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 to make an appointment.

Free wig salon hours are Tuesdays starting at 1 p.m. and Thursdays starting at 9 a.m.