WHAT IS WIGS WITHOUT BORDERS®?
A surgeon in Botswana contacted The Wig Exchange to discuss the conditions in her country and the need for wigs among her patients with the hope that The Wig Exchange could help. The Wig Exchange, which launched in 2012, has received over 10,000 donated wigs from cancer survivors or those who have lost a loved one. All wig donors share the desire to pay it forward by helping newly diagnosed women. As a result of their generosity, we have been able to send approximately 2,500 wigs overseas to 10 developing countries. The outpouring of gratitude from the recipients has been heartwarming and motivates us to continue to grow this program.
Wigs Without Borders®, a program created by SOUL RYEDERS, helps provide wigs to women with cancer in settings where cancer-related resources are critically lacking. Through our interactions with cancer professionals working in limited-resource countries, we have learned that in many of these areas, health literacy about cancer is poor, with cancer even thought to be contagious. Within these cultures, women in particular may be shunned by their communities once diagnosed with cancer. Often perceived as possessing evil spirits or having done something “bad” to deserve contracting their disease, they are no longer deemed useful members of their communities, are treated as outcasts and may even lose their employment. For these women, wearing a wig is not simply about normalcy or vanity – it can literally alter the course of their lives.
Wigs Without Borders® is not in any way affiliated with Doctors Without Borders®. Doctors Without Borders® is a registered trademark of Médecins Sans Frontières International.
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“I am very thankful for you and your group for your generous expression of love and care by donating wigs to the women in Rwanda! These few shots (photographs she included with her response) do not do service to express the joy your gesture created for the women who received your gifts. The expression before and after required a movie producer who could have created a powerful documentary… Looking and feeling good is an indescribable experience for someone recovering from or undergoing chemo…”
– Founder and Director of Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa