Like many patients with cancer, 71-year-old Susan Peverly was worried about how the side effects of cancer treatments would change her appearance. The hair loss, pale skin and signs of fatigue from chemotherapy for colon cancer were all reminders of the battle she was waging. She wanted to look and feel vibrant and alive.
Pictured Left: Susan Peverly, cancer survivor and resource center volunteer, models one of the hundreds of donated hats available at the Healing Spirit Boutique in the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership in Everett. The totes in the background hold the wigs available for boutique patrons.
Through her care team, Susan learned about a “Look Good, Feel Better” event near her home in Everett. “What an incredible experience that was,” she remembers. “We were pampered with personalized beauty lessons from expert volunteers. I went home with a collection of donated beauty and skin care supplies. I felt like a million bucks.”
Susan also went home with a brochure listing local cancer resources. That’s how she learned about the Healing Spirit Boutique at Providence Regional Cancer Partnership in Everett, Washington. She was looking for a wig. And, the boutique, run by American Cancer Society volunteers, was the closest source.
The Healing Spirit Boutique offers free wigs to patients who’ve lost their hair as a result of cancer treatments. Susan visited the boutique, checked out a few of the dozens of available colors and styles, and finally settled on two wigs. She later discovered the wigs felt uncomfortable to her, so she made the switch to hats. No worries. The Healing Spirit Boutique had those, too.
Wigs, Scarves and Hats … Oh, My!
In fact, the Healing Spirit Boutique is stocked with all sorts of items to help patients undergoing cancer treatment look and feel better. From donated wigs and hats, to volunteer-made prayer shawls, scarves, lap blankets and port pillows, to stuffed bears and Beanie Babies, the Healing Spirit Boutique has a little something for everyone. But, there’s no budget. Everything is donated. “One man donated 200 hats – his dad’s entire collection,” Susan said. How does she know? Like many people who have been touched by the kindness and compassion of the Healing Spirit Boutique, Susan started volunteering there once her treatments were over. “This place gave me so much more than hats and wigs. It gave me hope. I want to give that same hope to others.”
How You Can Help
The Healing Spirit Boutique gratefully accepts donations of wigs (new or used), hard brimmed hats (like baseball caps), knitted hats, prayer shawls, lap blankets, port pillows (small pillows patients can place between a seatbelt and their chemo port), stuffed animals and books.
For more information on how you can help, contact the Cancer Resource Center in your area: