Haircuts at Relay for Life help out cancer survivors

By: By Carol Chamberlain Submitted to the Journal
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For Barbara Brass, those few simple snips of the scissors couldn’t come soon enough. After three years of letting her hair grow to below her shoulders, Brass, 65, a Sutter Health hospice volunteer, is now sporting a short spiky hairdo, one that she loves.

Brass donated her four, eight-inch, white-as-snow ponytails of hair to impact the cruel side effect of chemotherapy drugs that causes hair loss. Brass’ swatches of silky hair will be transported to Pantene, the Procter and Gamble hair product line. There it will be processed, shaped, and woven into a comfortable wig, ready for service in Placer County, as every Placer County

cancer patient who needs one is eligible to receive a high-quality wig.

The  no-cost wigs for Placer County residents are courtesy of donations like Brass,’ stylists like Shawna Czerwinsky, owner, La Doce Vita Hair Studio in Auburn who volunteered to cut Brass’ hair, the American Cancer Society, Sutter Roseville Medical Center, the location of the Emma Wolf Cancer Resource Center and home to the wig bank, and a flock of supportive nonprofits and individual volunteers.

“The Sutter Roseville Wig Bank is the highest volume wig bank the region,” says Treasa McPherson, the American Cancer Society’s western region health systems manager of hospitals, and a cancer survivor.

Brass’ haircut took place on center stage at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, a festive, weekend jamboree that took place Aug. 18 at the Gold County Fairgrounds. The 500 or so attendees included cancer warriors (those in treatment), survivors and supporters. They come every year to celebrate the fight, reinvigorate and pay homage to those who fought cancer before.

To acquire a wig, volunteer, donate or learn more about the American Cancer Society sponsored Elma Wolf  Cancer Resource Center (wig bank) at Sutter Roseville Hospital, call 916-781-5000.