Donated wigs help ease cancer effects
WILMINGTON, NC – As a tribute to her mom, who died of cancer, a former Rock Falls resident wants to help others in the same situation.
Jonnie Chardonn, 72, has called Wilmington, North Carolina home for 20 years, but she grew up in Rock Falls, graduating from Rock Falls High in 1965.
The daughter of Mae and Floyd Glick, she enjoyed her childhood, but like many others had to see her mom deal with the effects of cancer not once, but twice.
It’s been 40 years now since her mom died of the disease at age 67.
Chardonn saw what her mom went through and wants to help others, and pass on the legacy of her mom’s generosity. Instead of just donating a sizable inheritance to the cause, though, Chardonn is using the money and her talents to donate wigs for women who lose their hair as a result of cancer treatments.
“My mom was my mentor, and I looked up to her. I couldn’t have found a better, more kind person. She was a great example to follow, and I wanted to in some way to take the money she passed to me to help ladies who need it.”
She had started a wig and art shop about 15 years ago so it was a natural fit for her to use that outlet to help cancer patients, especially after she found out what some women had paid for their wigs. A friend came to her one day to donate her mom’s wigs after she had died and told her she paid $600 apiece for them. Chardonn was floored; she charged only $125.
“I charged one-fourth what others charged, and now I can give them away for free,” she said.
She had to set a limit of some sort and she decided she would stop at 500 wigs, but she will ship them to any patient that needs one until she gets to that point. All she needs is a photo that the patient likes of them and if they want a different color, no problem, she said.
“I can try and match their hair color with a wig and ship it to them. But they don’t have to have it that color or style,” Chardonn said. “If they want long hair then fine. It might be their only chance to have it.”
All she asks is for the patients to attach a copy of a doctor’s prescription or other note written on letterhead with the doctor’s name on it to an email to her just to make sure the wigs are going to who needs them the most.
Chardonn works with the cancer society where she lives as a consultant and has access to three distributors for wigs so there is a lot of options she can choose from for patients.
With a humble spirit she learned from her parents, Chardonn said she isn’t looking for credit or the spotlight. She merely is following what her parents encouraged her to do and that’s help others who need it.
“I don’t know how else to help. If you give money to the cancer society that just goes in a big pot. But if a woman doesn’t have her hair, I can put a pretty wig on her and she can walk out and not feel she’s a spectacle.
Hopefully, doing this one good deed will make a mark.”