A salon and wig store in Victoria's cancer treatment centre is being forced to close despite a petition with a few thousand signatures from upset patients and their families.
Salon Revive opened inside the the BC Cancer Agency's Vancouver Island Centre 14 years ago. The centre provides oncology consultations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments for people on Vancouver Island.
Many people have shared heartfelt stories online of how important it was to get fitted for a wig since an eviction notice was delivered to the salon in November.
"People find out they are going to lose their hair right there in the clinic, and they have been able come come right downstairs and have that dealt with," said owner Leanna Eastgate, who got into the business after she lost her own hair due to the condition alopecia areata.
Despite the campaign to save Salon Revive, the BC Cancer Agency says it will need to close by the end of January.
The space the salon occupies is needed for patient care rooms and according to its mandate the agency could no longer justify providing space to a for-profit business, said regional director Kelly Nystedt.
"Certainly terminating the lease with the salon was a difficult decision and we have made it with regard to the very best interests of the Vancouver Island community," said Nystedt.
Cancer patients can still access help to deal with hair loss through the Canadian Cancer Society office in Victoria, she added.
With the eviction deadline fast approaching, Eastgate said she is giving up the fight to stay and is instead making plans to move her inventory to another Victoria clinic she works with that specializes in hair loss.
But she worries that cancer patients at the treatment centre in Victoria won't get enough support to deal with the trauma of losing their hair.