Gift of a wig 'made my day,' says woman fighting cancer

A Charlottetown woman fighting cancer says a special gift she received a few weeks ago continues to lift her spirits.

Charlottetown woman surprised by gift of wig from hairdresser who shaved her head

Judy Connick, in her new wig, says the gift brightened her day. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC News)

A Charlottetown woman fighting cancer says a special gift she received a few weeks ago continues to lift her spirits.

Judy Connick's cancer treatment caused much of her hair to fall out, so she decided it was time to invest in a wig. Her daughter ordered one online, but when it came, Connick couldn't get it to fit right on her head. She assumed that was because of the hair that remained, so Connick went to the local Supercuts to have that hair cut off, and to have a staff member help her make the wig work.

Staff offered compassion, discretion

"She took me down to a back room, she shaved my head there because she didn't want everybody to see me," said Connick, who said the trauma of having her head shaved was made easier by the VIP treatment she received from hairdresser Monica Ramsay. "She put hot towels on my head and a hot towel on my neck, it was just beautiful."

But even with her own hair removed, the wig just didn't fit right, and Ramsay suggested they try a spare wig she had in the back room.

Monica Ramsay, a hairdresser with Supercuts in Charlottetown: 'It just feels good to help someone.' (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC News)

"When I put it on her, it suited her perfectly," Ramsay said. "She just lit right up, a big smile back on her face."

Delighted with the new wig, but reluctant to purchase another expensive hair piece, Connick asked how much it would cost to buy. She was shocked when Ramsay said she could have it for free.  

"She put it on, and it looked really good, and then she gave me a big hug," Connick said.  "We went to the cash, all she charged me was for the haircut."

'Feels good to help someone else'

Ramsay had never met Connick before, but has other clients who are undergoing cancer treatment. She said the gift was a chance to help someone whose physical appearance has changed due to chemotherapy, feel a little more like themselves again.

[My son] said Mom, you look so much younger.– Judy Connick

"I just shaved this woman's hair off, I couldn't send her out looking the way she did, I wanted to help her," Ramsay said. "I felt I needed to do this. It just feels good to help someone."

For Connick, it helped a lot. She said she feels much more comfortable and confident now, and puts on her new wig, with some lipstick and earrings, too, for dinners out and even to watch her grandsons' hockey games.  

'Changed my whole look'

"Thank you, Monica darling. You made my day that day, and a lot of days after that," Connick said.

"It's changed my whole look. Even my son, he looked at my husband and said, 'Oh, you've got a new woman for the night.' He said 'Mom, you look so much younger.'"