|Jamie, an Allusions Kidz Wigz recent recipient|
Making a child’s day is typically as easy as an ice cream cone or a trip to the park. For children who suffer from hair loss, however, it takes much more. That’s why Allusions launched its Kidz Wigz Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with hair loss.
Allusions Kidz Wigz provides free custom cranial prosthesis or hairpiece to children in the Greater Cincinnati area. These are children who may be suffering from hair loss due to cancer, burns, radiation, alopecia, trichotillomania and other medically related issues. Working with social workers at Children’s Hospital and The Shriners Burn Institute, children in need are referred to Allusions Kidz Wigz to receive help. The process begins with interested recipients completing the online application. Then, they are brought in for a complimentary consultation where they are evaluated and the Foundation’s recipient criteria are assessed. On average, says founder Jeanne Sheldon, the program assists 5-8 children annually.
“It seems that each time one of our Kidz Wigz recipients receives their hair, it brings a smile to their face,” she adds. “It makes them feel normal and pretty again. All children want to fit in and feel like everyone else.”
In addition to providing the complimentary wig, the Allusions Kidz Wigz program also employs a cosmetologist to help with any skincare or beauty needs. This cosmetologist suffers from Alopecia, a type of hair loss that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, so she can empathize with and relate to patients on a personal level because she understands the emotional and physical aspects of hair loss.
Sheldon established the non-profit organization in 2004 in memory of her mother Marjorie Busemeyer and sister Becky Busemeyer. Both women experienced hair loss due to chemotherapy, and eventually their lives to cancer 25 years ago. Sheldon’s friend Lucinda Heekin, who also battled with chemotherapy-related hair loss, also inspired the launch of the Foundation.
“Hair loss can be a terrible experience for someone to go through especially for children. When they lose their hair, they lose confidence and self-esteem,” says Sheldon. “At Allusions, we are grateful that we can help them feel normal again with our natural hair wigs.”
Today Allusions Kidz Wigz is using blogs, Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness about the Foundation so more children in need can get help. They also produce a semi-annual newsletter, in which they inform supporters about the latest recipients and new advancements.
To learn more, visit www.allusionshair.com/resources/kidz-wigz.