PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Being diagnosed with the disease can be devastating. From the difficult treatments, to hair loss, the journey is often overwhelming.
However, there are some local groups that can help.
KDKA radio personality, Bonny Diver, knows what it’s like to hear the words, “you have cancer.”
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 at the age of 46.
“Everything changed and I thought how could I possibly have this, I’m too young. Number two, I’m going to die because when you hear the word cancer, you think of death,” Diver said.
Diver fought the disease and won. Now, she’s helping others who are going through the same struggles.
She is the founder of Hair Peace Charities.
“We’ve given out a quarter of a million dollars in the last 10 years for Hair Peace Charities to help women to pay for wigs and we give $150 to any type of diagnosis with hair loss, women or girls,” Diver said.
That’s across an 11-county area.
Paying for a wig is only half the battle.
For cancer patients, hair loss can be one of the most difficult challenges emotionally.
That’s where Debbie Mancuso, owner of Hair Enhancements of Pittsburgh, comes in.
“They’re so scared because of the unknown. First off, they’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, which is scary enough and then whenever they are told they are going to lose their hair, it just compounds it,” Mancuso said.
Mancuso and her team walk patients through the wig process start to finish – offering love and support all along the way.
”When you give somebody hair that doesn’t have hair and they feel good and they can get through life and every day, it’s just a great feeling,” Mancuso said.
Mancuso says her mission is to make getting a wig a more positive experience.
She wants cancer patients to know they aren’t alone and Diver makes sure to offer the same message.
“That’s what we’re all about, encouragement, support, financial aid, but letting you know, you’re not alone, you’re not alone. That’s the worst thing you can be is alone, we’re not meant for that,” Diver said.
To learn more about hair peace charities, visit their website here.