Health & Wellness

Hope, Healing and Hair: Woman's Cancer Journey Helps Others

Radio personality Bonny Diver turns her own cancer experience into a charity that helps women fighting cancer purchase wigs, boosting their confidence.

Fighting cancer can feel pretty lonely. And the changes that come with treatment, like losing your hair, can make you feel even more isolated.

Bonny Diver, who you'll remember from her days delivering traffic reports on KDKA radio, turned her own cancer journey into something positive when she founded Hair Peace Charities . It's a non-profit that gives women access to wigs to help get them through those dark days of chemo. When I met her, I found out the group is about so much more (refresh your browser if video doesn't immediately show) .

Wigs aren't covered by a lot of health insurance, which leaves women on their own to find and pay for a wig if they want one. Hair Peace provides up to $150 to women with any form of cancer who want a wig.

"The thought of spending $150 for a wig can be overwhelming." Kristin Smihal, cancer survivor

Bonny has non-profit status for Hair Peace, plus a board of directors and a group of dedicated volunteers. They raise money to pay for the wigs and partner with local salons to help women select the hair pieces they'd like.

But Bonny still makes sure to give every woman that personal touch. One survivor, now-Hair Peace board member Annie Faust, recalled when Bonny called her at a low point in her treatment. "Here I was sitting outside Magee Hospital, talking to Bonny," remembered Annie. "That conversation changed the trajectory of my thinking, because it was so hopeful."

Like any non-profit, Hair Peace Charities can always use more money and volunteers. Click here to donate to their cause, and here to learn how to organize a fundraiser. Or if you'd like to be hands-on with cancer patients, contact Bonny about volunteering. You can find her phone number and e-mail address on the Hair Peace homepage . That's where you'll also find information about their annual "Recipe for Hope" fundraiser, March 2. Click here to purchase tickets.

Lots of celebrities will be there preparing their favorite dishes, including WPXI's Janelle Hall, pictured with Bonny Diver and Chef Donato Coluccio at last year's fundraiser.

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