Good Wishes provide ‘a hug for your head’ in the form a beautiful scarf for people that have lost their hair or are suffering from hair thinning as a result of chemo. They will provide you with a selection of 3 fabrics to choose from and will then send you a scarf or wrap along with a card full of the good wishes from their staff! This is a great product with lots of positive reviews.
When Anthony was ten years old, he set up the Heavenly Hats Foundation to help provide brand new hats of all kinds to ‘those heroes of all ages’ who lose their hair due to cancer treatment or other medical illness. Their aim is to make sure everyone in need of headwear for warmth, comfort, courage and strength can get one free of charge. Since its inception, Heavenly Hats(TM) has distributed more than 2.8 million hats.
Breast Friends collaborated with Portland artist Jo Gefre to create free, humorous hats for women with cancer. The idea came from one of the organisation’s co-founders after she received a hat with the phrase “No Hair Day”. The funny slogan gave her the confidence to go out without the worry of people staring at her. Instead, the hat acted as a conversation piece meaning people were stopping to talk to her rather than about her. So she set about creating free hats for other women experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy. Breast Friends offer a choice of 2 hats, pink or blue, with the captions ‘Has Anyone Seen my Hare?’ or ‘Temporarily Bald, Permanently Beautiful’.
Caring for kids
This amazing charity was set up by Certified Cosmetic Therapist Jeffrey Paul and gives children a free, custom made wig hand-tied and made completely from human hair. The retail value for these wigs would be $1,800, but the charity provides them free of charge to any child that has lost their hair due to a medical condition or side effect of cancer treatment. "Children shouldn't have to worry about how they look, especially when they're in the middle of a health crisis," says Jeffrey Paul. "We want to give these kids the opportunity to feel good about themselves again because they look just the way they did before." To get a hairpiece download their application form from their website.
When Tara (Lawrence) Bracher was working at the American Cancer Society, she became aware of the impact of hair loss on children undergoing chemotherapy. That’s why she set up Hats off for Cancer, a charity which has distributed over 2 million free hats in the hope that they will offer a bit of emotional relief to the pain and confusion caused by cancer. If you’re under 21, you can request a free hat from their website.
This charity runs year round camping trips for children with cancer across various states and is completely free of charge. It aims to help provide children with a fun, safe environment where they can enjoy being outdoors, experiencing new adventures and spending time with other kids with whom they can openly talk about how they feel about living with cancer. Each child is also paired with a volunteer companion who makes sure that all their needs are met to make sure their camper has the most enjoyable, relaxing and restoring experience possible.
Kesem run summer camps for children whose parents have had cancer and offers a free week of games, arts, crafts and facilitated conversations for six to sixteen-year-olds where they can talk about how having a parent with cancer or losing a parent to cancer has affected them. It’s a great, safe and welcoming environment where children can have fun and rediscover their childhood.
Mind and Brain
This wonderful group of volunteers will pair you with your very own “chemo angel,” who will send you cheery notes, cards, uplifting messages and small gifts during treatment. It is a lovely concept that brings positive energy and encouragement to people undergoing cancer treatment and makes sure no one feels alone during their cancer journey. If you would like to receive these cards and get your very own ‘buddy’ then apply via their website.
The Lydia project provides a free handmade tote for women with cancer filled with a few goodies like an inspirational journal, pens, skin lotions, etc. They will also send you a year’s worth of hand-written greetings and notes of encouragement to help you through your cancer journey.
Knitted knockers provide free knitted breast prosthesis for women who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy. These soft, lightweight, washable knockers even come in a safe swim variety. The aqua knockers are hand-made using a soft acrylic yarn and stuffed using shower scrunchies and look natural under swimming costumes.
This is a fantastic organisation to help women learn more about managing the visible side-effects of cancer treatment. Their free confidence kit is full of expert advice and practical tips on skincare, makeup, wig styling, hair care, headwear and nail care. It does have everything you could ever want to know about how to look good and feel better! They even run free workshops where trained beauticians guide you through a 12 step makeup program and give you a bag of free goodies to go home with so you can perfect your technique at home. Check out their website for lots of helpful free online tutorials too.
Going on Holiday
First Descents is an incredible organisation which provides young adults aged 18-39 the opportunity to take part in a free, week-long, outdoor adventure holiday where they can try exciting sports like rock climbing, kayaking, and surfing in incredible locations around the globe. By taking people beyond their diagnosis, helping them to defy their cancer and connect with other young adults with cancer, it allows healing to happen naturally and organically and helps to build confidence by doing things they didn’t think they could. This is an epic experience and all activities, meals, etc. are provided free of charge, there’s also a travel bursary if needed.
Casting for Recovery is a fabulous organization which offers weekend retreats for breast cancer patients. It was set up by a breast cancer reconstruction surgeon and fly-fishing enthusiast who thought that the experience of learning a new sport in the company of fellow patients could provide an opportunity for healing. As well as learning how to fly-fish, it also offers women the opportunity to take part in counselling sessions and teaches coping skills. All-in-all, it’s a fantastic bonding weekend where you can have fun, make friends and learn new skills all in a beautiful and peaceful natural setting across 34 states.
This charity offers free travel to treatment centres across the country using empty seats on corporate jets. The service is available to all cancer patients, bone marrow donors and bone marrow recipients traveling for a consultation, check-up or treatment as long as they can walk and travel without the need for medical support. Eligibility is not based on financial need, and patients may travel as often as necessary. It means patients can receive specialized treatment not available in their local area without incurring the cost of the journey or the risks associated with commercial flights due to their compromised immune system.
When Debbie Sardone discovered that some of her clients could no longer afford her cleaning services because of expensive medical bills for cancer treatment she decided to do something about it. So in 2006 she set up ‘Cleaning for a Reason’ which gives the gift of free house cleaning for women undergoing treatment for cancer to help take away the worry and burden of cleaning their homes. The program is available in 50 states and Canada and offers up to four months of free cleaning services. This is a fabulous service which has already helped over 21 thousand women so why not add your name to the list and get your home cleaned for free.
Amanda Rosen makes beautiful port pillows to make wearing a seatbelt more comfortable for people with ports. The idea came to her after friends told her that they found wearing a seatbelt was painful as it would put pressure on their port when they were in the car driving to and from infusions. The port pillows come in a range of colours and patterns and even has special fabrics with child-friendly themes like superheroes and princesses and you can request one via her website.