By: Benita Zahn
AMSTERDAM - In this small room at St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam big things are happening. It's a salon with a mission - to lift the spirits of women battling cancer.
68 year old Susan Henningson is no stranger to cancer. First diagnosed in 2003 she was doing well and had gotten rid of the wig she wore back then. But the cancer recurred and she lost her hair, again.
"A woman's hair is her crowning glory" says Susan "and when you lose it you don't feel so glorious any longer. And this helps you do that. "
And it's one stop shopping - after she undergoes treatment her husband Art brings her to the boutique, all in the same building.
It's something nurse manager Cathy Ives had been looking to develop.
" I had this heart to have a place where patients could come in and get wigs. A little boutique of some sort."
A little bit of luck brought St. Mary's together with the American Cancer Society and it all fell into place. The ACS donated 50 wigs plus scarves and hats.
And as Cathy points out, it couldn't have come at a better time - with the economy troubled and gas prices so high, money for a wig may not be available for many.
"Some people won't get wigs" Cathy explains " They'll just wear a baseball cap in this area because they can't afford a wig. So it's wonderful, it really truly is wonderful to be able to say not only do we have wigs, but they're free."
Lynn Hisert was one of the first to use the wig boutique. She says, even with ample support from friends and family, women undergoing cancer treatment need a little more.
"We need a lot of support and they really give it to you."
You can join the fight against breast cancer by attending MAKING STRIDES AGAINST BREAST on October 21st at Albany's Washington Park.