A big thank you to Mayssam for writing a piece about the One Wig Stand project. It’s always nice to hear other people’s take on the project and see how they are spreading their own awareness about Breast Cancer..
There’s a wig stand going around from Breast Cancer patient to Breast Cancer patient in Lebanon. The story started when a friend’s close relative was hit with Breast Cancer in July 2006. Fortunately, the woman in question has been cured, since the malignancy was caught relatively early, and chemotherapy led to a successful recovery. However, chemotherapy is a rather unpleasant treatment with side effects such as nausea, vomiting, GI problems, hematological problems and hair loss. The latter is definitely one of the most vicious repercussions, since a woman’s mane is a defining feature. However, the patient in question was stronger than the disease itself, and even stronger than the treatment and its atrocity! I remember seeing her, fashionably combing her wig into different hairstyles, she was and still is a source of inspiration to me and to every woman in her surrounding, be it her daughters, her friends, or those battling the same malignancy who now draw strength out of her own experience.
Which brings me back to the wig stand. The wig stand, as my friend explained to me, is traveling from one woman’s home to another, wherever needed, to be adorned by wigs being used to complement women on chemotherapy who are suffering from hair loss. The wig stand thus enters each woman’s bedroom or powder room, with a different story to tell each time; all to be compiled, to raise Breast Cancer Awareness, and to provide support for the patients and their families.
On the other hand, part of the project as well, there are wigs wandering from one event to another, to raise awareness on the ground by having people wear them after mentioning to them the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness. Thus, you will be hearing about Breast Cancer in Gemmayzeh, in Hamra, or even in the comfort of your own home. Maybe this small difference would remind you and push you to have your own breasts examined, or to incite your family members and your loved ones to do so. You can check the One Wig Stand Website HERE.
You should also take the opportunity to take a look at the American National Breast Cancer Website on how to get one’s breasts examined,what symptoms to look for, what are the risk factors, how to deal with the diagnosis and the disease, and what are possible treatments, along with success stories of people who overcame the malignancy.
Don’t forget to check out the May Jallad Foundation Website about Breast Cancer Awareness in Lebanon! Hoping to have more alertness in Lebanon, and to be able to eradicate this disease in the years to come. Cancer is not taboo, it is not that “unnamed disease”, as sometimes referred to in the Lebanese society, and one should not fear examining herself, and acquiring knowledge.
Remember: EARLY Cancer can be CURED!
(Mayssam is a fourth-year medicine student at AUB and a very promising future doctor.)