Issued 21 May 2012
Cabrini Brighton initiative improves journey for Bayside cancer patients
Within days of her cancer diagnosis, Anne Nicholson, Quality Manager at Cabrini Brighton, was
confronted by her next challenge: the prospect of losing her hair. Eight years later, this experience
has informed a Cabrini first – the launch of the Cabrini Wig Room in Bayside.
Located near the Day Oncology unit at Cabrini Brighton, this free community service is available to
Cabrini patients and anyone living in the City of Bayside who is losing their hair due to cancer
treatment, regardless of where they are receiving their treatment or if they are privately insured.
Bayside City Council is one of several benefactors, contributing seed funding for the initiative.
“When I was diagnosed eight years ago, there was lots of support and information about the medical
side but nothing to help me through the more personal aspect of treatment,” Ms Nicholson said.
“Unless you’ve had this experience, you have no idea how traumatic and emotional it is, and the
prospect of going to a fairly public place to try on a wig when you’re trying to come to terms with
the fact that you’re going to lose your hair . . . there’s a sense of utter disbelief.”
Cabrini Brighton General Manager David Nowell says the Cabrini Wig Room is designed to reduce
stress for cancer patients in the bayside area as they embark on their treatment: “Clients walk into
the Cabrini Wig Room and feel like they’ve entered a high-end hair salon – it’s an attractive,
“We have a large range of high-quality wigs for clients to try on and, from this, select one and take it
home with them free-of-charge. Volunteers help with wig selection and provide advice on how to
maintain the wig. Every client leaves their consultation with wig care products, a cap to wear under
the wig and a sleep cap. They can also choose scarves, turbans and beanies, all of which have been
generously provided by community group KOGO (Knit One, Give One),” he said.
Mr Nowell said clients could then have the wig fitted and styled, again free-of-charge, by dedicated
stylists from Toni and Guy hair salon in Church Street, Brighton.
While clients do not have to return wigs once they are no longer needed, if they are returned
another Church Street institution, Tylers Hair Designs, is donating its services to clean and repair the
wigs, which Cabrini will then donate to local amateur theatre groups.
The Cabrini Wig Room operates 10 am-2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, strictly by appointment. A
dedicated appointment and enquiries hotline is staffed 9 am-5pm, Monday to Friday, ph 9508 5700.
Cabrini is a Catholic, private, not-for-profit health service provided from seven sites in Melbourne.
Services include aged care, cancer care, cardiac services, emergency, health promotion, home-based
care, maternity services, paediatric services, palliative care, rehabilitation, research and education.
Media information/photo opportunities
Christine Elmer, Marketing and Community Relations, Cabrini, ph (03) 9508 1216 or 0459 811 693