A BREAST cancer survivor in Redditch is helping cancer victims suffering the trauma of hair loss to re-build their confidence and self-esteem.
Brockhill mum Mel Smith was just 30 years old when she underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery to remove a lump.
She lost all her hair in the process and like many suffers, turned to using a wig.
However in the current coronavirus pandemic many women suffering hair loss have had difficulty getting a suitable wig due to the lockdown restrictions.
To help them Mel, a hairdresser by profession, has turned her garage conversion ‘Garden Room Salon’ into a fitting service for people looking for a suitable wig.
“We’re trying to raise awareness to let women know that there is help out there,” said proud husband Ashley.
“I know she doesn’t want the recognition for herself but having been through it she knows there are a lot of women going through chemotherapy and who cannot get a wig.”
Mel has now joined with the charity Bosom Buddies and they’ve been collecting wigs from women who no longer need them so they can be recycled for women who desperately do.
And awareness has spread. Already 16 wigs have been donated and fitting takes place in the privacy of the salon.
“All this is done via strict social distancing and both parties wear PPE, the salon is cleaned down after each client not only because of Covid but as all of the women are undertaking chemo,” said Ashley.
The couple have a three year-old son and Ashley well remembers the trauma when they heard of Mel’s diagnosis.
“It was a bit of a shock – it turns your world upside down, but she was a sea of calm in an ocean of turmoil and I’ve never seen her so positive.
“This is her way of helping people out.”
Mel is also looking for more donations of wigs – she can be contacted through Facebook – just key in Mel Smith, wig lady.