My name is Sara, and I am a mother of three. When going through treatment for my Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma my children were 2, 4, and 12. I was hard for me to let them see me. I didn’t want to look sick, and it is very hard to not look sick when you have almost no hair. They wanted to comfort me and be with me. I would have to cover my head with a beanie or a scarf and just say my hair was messy. When I got the wig from Lolly’s Locks it made me feel almost normal again, at least I could definitely look normal. I remember my oldest was the first one to see me wear it. He had just come home from school.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers financial resources for people with cancer who are unable to work. These necessary benefits allow you to focus on what’s truly important: recovery.
Medically Qualifying with Cancer
When the SSA receives your application, it will compare your cancer to its own medical guide, known as the Blue Book. The Blue Book lists exactly how advanced your cancer needs to be to qualify.
Some cancers will medically qualify with just a diagnosis. These include:
- Certain forms of lymphoma or leukemia
- Esophageal cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Salivary cancer
- Sinoasal cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Other forms of cancer will qualify differently. For example, breast cancer will qualify if it has spread to a your chest wall or skin, or to more than 10 auxiliary nodes. This typically means women with Stage III breast cancer or higher will medically qualify. Prostate cancer will only qualify if it has progressed or returned despite treatment, has spread to other internal organs, or is a small-cell carcinoma.
Lolly’s Locks is proud to announce that Holly Morris, Fox Early Morning News Anchor & Co-Host of Good Day DC, will host our 4th Annual DC Night of Fashion on Thursday, May 5th at The Watergate Hotel.
Here’s some more about Holly in her own words:
“Where do you get all your energy?” I know you were about to ask, so I thought I would save you the trouble! My standard answer is “strong coffee” (God Bless any and all Starbucks baristas). But that’s really only half the truth. I am innately a work hard, live large, glass is half full kind of girl.
I promised some weeks ago to address a couple more cancer issues that not everyone thinks of: the hidden expenses of cancer. Everyone knows that health insurance and treatment for major illness is not cheap, but there are so many other expenses associated with a cancer diagnosis that go beyond those obvious costs. They are particularly hard on a young adult such as myself, and they are not contained to the months you spend battling the disease. A cancer diagnosis creates major lifestyle changes that remain in place for the rest of your life.
When I was diagnosed, I had just left my job managing a bakery. While I loved my co-workers and still enjoy the macarons, the arduous commute and bakery hours were just not practical. My plan was to enjoy the holiday and start looking for an office job (my degrees are in political science and justice) in the New Year. That plan never came to fruition, as I was diagnosed on December 14, 2012, one day after I turned 24.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 2, 2015
Lolly’s Locks, a non-profit that provides high-quality wigs to economically disadvantaged cancer patients, is pleased to announce that Emmy-award winning comedian Joy Behar, is confirmed to host its New York City Night of Fashion fundraising event on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at Marquee New York.
Whether Behar is performing standup or interviewing celebrities and politicians, she has been recognized as innovative comedic talent and a leading woman both on television, stage and the big screen. In addition to co-hosting ABC’s Emmy-winning daytime talker “The View” for multiple seasons, Behar hosted “The Joy Behar Show” on HLN and “Joy Behar: Say Anything!” on Current TV.
It is hard to believe the end of the summer is here, and there are no words for how excited I am about the end of our application freeze! Since we started accepting applications again on Tuesday, they have been pouring in. Cancer patients from New York to California have been writing in and asking for help in feeling like themselves during their cancer treatment. We ask every applicant what obtaining a high-quality wig means to them, and their words are so powerful in articulating why we do this work:
“It means that at least one aspect of my appearance will look like I did before my illness. It will give me confidence to carry on. It will also allow my children to see me as they remember. Not as mom who is sick. My children are my world and if I can continue to have somewhat of normality it will make the fight ahead that much easier”
“It will give me confidence to go out in public and feel pretty.”
“It would allow me to go to church, and to cover my hearing aid.”
“Throughout my cancer, my main concern are my boys, 12 and 14. I would like to feel confident enough to attend their school/athletic functions. I need to return to work as soon as possible after my [treatment.] Having a quality wig will help me return with my head held high…”
I’m Lysette, one of Lolly’s Locks’ original recipients-turned-volunteer. I originally came to Lolly’s Locks as a recipient two and a half years ago. When I was diagnosed with cancer the day after my 24th birthday, my husband and I knew we were in for a long battle. I was no stranger to cancer, having lost my mom and my best friend to the disease; at the time of my diagnosis, my grandmother was fighting cancer as well.
Luckily, at the time of my diagnosis, Lolly’s Locks had recently opened its doors, and I was accepted into the program. The wig that I received through Lolly’s Locks made it possible for me to maintain the sense of normalcy and privacy that I craved during treatment, and, thus, had a huge impact on my sense of wellness while I was sick. I knew from the beginning that I would one day apply to volunteer or work for this amazing organization. It took some time to get back on my feet and in the position to be actively involved in the world again, but now that I am, I’m thrilled to be part of this team.
Lolly’s Locks Family,
The last month has been really tough for us here at Lolly’s Locks. At the beginning of June, Jaime and I were forced to take a cold hard look at the books and compare it with the stack of applications we have received. The numbers just didn’t add up and, unfortunately, we were forced to close our application to our program. The growth of our organization has been exponential in the last year. We have granted and paid for over 285 wigs for women across the country, bringing us to a grand total of 360.
As we have grown, we have been fortunate to receive both national and local press. The press was targeted primarily at one of our audience- potential recipients- but not to the donors that make our mission possible. Thus, applications poured in, but donations did not keep up. By May, we were receiving over 78 applications to our program. That blew our expectations out of the water. We could never have even fathomed that before. To put it into perspective, when I started here last summer we were receiving just about 5 applications a week. By the time we closed applications, we were receiving upwards of 3 a day.
As many of you know by now, my mom was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in January 2012, and she tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation shortly thereafter. Now that I know more about the BRCA mutation, it seems so clear that based on her extensive family history of cancer and her Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, she should have been tested long before she received her cancer diagnosis. But, genetic testing for cancer genes is a relatively new medical advancement, and, until very recently, doctors did not regularly recommend genetic testing in a prophylactic capacity without something more compelling than just a troublesome family history. Such testing was, at that time, not covered by insurance and cost prohibitive for patients. Still, the news of my mom’s BRCA-positive status was a slap in the face. Why didn’t doctors at least tell my mom about the potentially life-saving option of testing, and allow her to make the decision for herself? The what-ifs that stem from this question still regularly keep me up at night, and form the basis of my constant urging my girlfriends and Lolly’s Locks’ recipients that self-advocacy is one of the most important things you do can for your health: ask questions about benefits, risks and alternatives of any proposed course of action, and move to another provider if you don’t feel like you are heard or that you are not being given all of the pertinent information.
In honor of #NationalVolunteerWeek, we are pleased to introduce you to Edna, Lolly’s Locks’ very first volunteer. We are so lucky to have her. Below, Edna shares how she finds the time to give so much of herself to the organization, and what helping Lolly’s Locks’ recipients means to her:
How long have you been volunteering with Lolly’s Locks? How often do you volunteer?
I have been volunteering for nearly 2 years now. On an average, I volunteer about 8 – 10 hours a month depending upon the need and the number of new applications received. As a part of Lolly’s Locks’ recent fundraiser in March 2015, I served on the Host Committee which involved more of my time in terms of outreach, attending planning meetings, and soliciting special donors.