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Newport Beach

Volume 6, Issue 7  |  January 22, 2021

Cancer Kinship partners with UHSM to offer free wig salon program

Cancer Kinship, located in Newport Beach, along with the assistance of UHSM (Unite Health Share Ministries), is continuing the honorable work of Susan G. Komen Orange County’s Free Wig Salon program into 2021. With a rich history of 20+ years of empowering cancer patients, the Komen team has now transitioned its free wig program onto Cancer Kinship. 

For some, a wig is sometimes used as a costume accessory or something to wear for fun, but for cancer patients experiencing chemo-induced hair loss, a wig helps them regain their self-confidence. The program, which is set to relaunch in mid-January 2021 under Cancer Kinship’s guise, will offer a high-touch individualized program that will be offered virtually via video wig shopping. UHSM is assisting in the collection and storage of leftover wigs until the program begins.

Cancer Kinship will be adopting the Komen model and wigs will be available at no charge. Currently, Cancer Kinship hosts more than 250 wigs, and knitted head coverings provided by local nonprofit Knots of Love, silk and cotton head coverings and other hair supplies that will be included as a packaged gift for cancer patients.

Cancer Kinship Yolanda

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Courtesy of Cancer Kinship

Yolanda Origel, executive director of Cancer Kinship and breast cancer survivor

“As a 12-year breast cancer survivor I understand, first-hand, the importance of this program, and since it aligns with Cancer Kinship’s mission perfectly, the decision to partner (with UHSM) was easily made,” said Yolanda Origel, executive director of Cancer Kinship.

“When I was battling cancer, my hair began to fall out one week after my very first chemo. By day 10, chunks of hair fell out in the shower and I knew that I couldn’t handle my entire head of hair falling out before my eyes. I loved my hair. It was a part of my identity – thick and long down to my waist. When I saw that big chunk of wet hair in the shower that day, I cried and made the decision to cut my hair and shave my head later that evening. I knew that I needed to get a wig, but I didn’t realize until I was faced with hair loss, just how expensive wigs were, and I didn’t have the extra money to buy one. Thankfully, I was gifted several wigs that made all the difference in the world. It didn’t look like my old hair, but I didn’t care. I just looked like I had a fun haircut and color,” Origel shared.

“We look forward to continuing the legacy that began at Komen OC, and in 2021, Cancer Kinship will be operating the only free wig program located in Orange County,” said Origel.

For more information on Cancer Kinship, visit It is located at the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living, 307 Placentia Ave., Newport Beach.

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