Handcrafted donations aim to make a difference for patients undergoing cancer treatment

News / General
By Meaghan Quinn

Wooden wig stands can be taken home and used for wig and hat placement

Dealing with cancer treatment and the side effects that it can lead to – including hair loss – can be a difficult time for a person to go through. Recognizing the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on self-esteem, a local wood turners club decided they wanted to put their skills to use and create something to put a smile on a patients face.

“It’s pretty debilitating for someone going through cancer to lose their hair, so we wanted to make something that could be a memento of the journey someone has gone through, hopefully successfully, and let patients know that there are people out there that care,” says Larry Magee, a member of the Kingston Woodturners. “We wanted to give back to the community and show our support for people who have been impacted by cancer.”

To do this, the Kingston Woodturners recently donated 18 handmade wig stands to the Cancer Centre at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). Members of the club volunteered their time to hand create the wig stands, spending around three hours per stand and crafting them over the past several weeks. The stands will be given to patients undergoing treatment to take home with them and use as a spot for patients to place the wigs or hats that they are using while undergoing treatment. Already, two wig stands have been claimed and found new homes.

“Going through cancer treatment can negatively impact self-esteem and body image. Understanding this and finding alternative ways to promote a patient's sense of self is essential to their care journey,” says Lucas Mott, a program manager for Cancer Care at Kingston Health Sciences Centre. “As a program, we are grateful to donors like the Kingston Woodturners, who are compassionate to individuals' experiences and are willing to support and make a difference for the next person entering this floor.”

The Kingston Woodturners were generously supported along their project with all of the wood used to make the stands donated from local lumberyard Westwood Lumberco. They are already looking ahead to potentially making more wig stands to donate and are exploring other projects to put their skills to use while also helping to support patients of the Cancer Centre.  

“Many of us have been through cancer at some point in our lives, whether it’s ourselves, a family member or friend, so we wanted to do what we can to make even a small difference,” says Larry. “If this donation can put a smile on someone’s face that may not have had a lot to smile about that day, it’s a win.”

Click here to learn more about the Kingston Woodturners.