Wig Closet Helping Cancer Patients

March 28, 2007

Reported by: Britney Glaser

For females battling cancer, one of the most difficult side effects to deal with can be hair loss during chemotherapy treatments.  But, there's one place in Jennings that is offering help to these women.

Jeff Davis Parish Relay for Life participant Robert Dale Istre has seen his vision to help local women battling cancer become a reality.  If you take a walk down the hall at the Thibodeaux, Albro and Touchet Therapy Group in Jennings, you won't be seeing physical therapy equipment.  Open the door to one side closet and you'll see one man's creative method of helping local women battling cancer.

Istre says, "A woman feels better when she can still go out with her hair.  She can feel comfortable and at ease when she goes out in public."  In this wig closet that Istre opened along with the space provided by friend, Chris Thibodeaux of the Therapy Group, women can come in and select a wig, hat or turban at zero cost.

Polly Henry heads up the Jeff Davis Parish Relay for Life.  She says with the number of women in Southwest Louisiana battling cancer, this wig closet can offer a much appreciated service on a local level.  "This is truly going to be a worthwhile experience for them, to be able to come in and find something that they don't have to pay a penny for.  This is all from the goodness and kindness of area residents' hearts," says Henry.

It's only been one week since the wig closet opened to the public, but the outpouring of donations from the community continues to add to the selection inside the small space.  "We're having a lot of donations come in," says Istre, "it's very nice."

Volunteer hair stylists are available to correctly fit the wigs and style them for the women.  Henry says, "Women can use the items as long as they need. If they want to keep it the rest of their lives, they can. If they want to donate it back, we'll have it cleaned and styled so someone else can use it."

Although this closet is located in Jennings, it's open to any woman in need.

"God gave us ways to help those that have cancer," says Istre, "and that's what it's for. It's to help people out. We all pray for the sick and I feel this is another way to help those that encounter the cancer."

If you are a woman battling cancer and would like a wig, hat or turban, you can visit the wig closet in Jennings at the Thibodeaux, Albro and Touchet Therapy Group on Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you would like to donate to the wig closet, you can contact Robert Dale Istre at 824-6649 or mail your donations to 8100 HWY 26, Jennings, LA 70546.