POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — The Dyson Breast Center at Vassar Brothers Medical Center held a very special event on Saturday. Breast cancer patient Kim Ross debuted a wig that was made by Angelline Smalls of Wigs By Angelline , a small business in the City of Poughkeepsie.
Smalls was joined by Dyson Breast Center nurse Erika Hernandez, who donated 26 inches of her own hair to be used to make the wig, and Dyson Breast Center Nurse Practitioner Sara Winterleitner.
Special guests at the event included Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, state Sen. Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, and Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Rob Rolison, R-Poughkeepsie.
Winterleitner told the crowd that Ross’ cancer was detected with new tomosynthesis 3-D mammography at the breast center. .
On a warm Saturday afternoon, Erika Hernandez sat down for a haircut at An’tyrice Salon in Poughkeepsie.
But to Kim Ross, it was a moment of sacrifice and generosity. The two Poughkeepsie women did not know each other a month ago, and they met under less than ideal circumstances.
“On Sept. 23, I was my daughter’s mother,” Ross said. “On the 24th, I became a breast cancer patient.”
As a nurse with the Dyson Center for Cancer Care in Poughkeepsie who assisted in Ross’ biopsy, Hernandez chose to stand with Ross to fight back against breast cancer.
Despite knowing each other briefly, the duo formed a bond as Hernandez donated 26 inches of hair to craft a wig for Ross while she continues with chemotherapy.
Having assisted with many breast cancer patients, Hernandez said she has seen countless women struggle with one aspect in particular — hair loss.
“They feel like they lose their dignity,” Hernandez said, in reference to the effects of chemotherapy.
Erika Hernandez holds 26 inches of her hair that was cut to create a wig for Kim Ross, in the background embracing stylist Angelline Smalls on Saturday in the City of Poughkeepsie. Ross was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and Hernandez generously offered to donate her hair to create a wig for Ross.
While she has always been known since high school for her long, dark hair, about 36 inches in length before the cut, Hernandez was convinced that donating her hair was the right choice. “I can grow my hair back umpteen times, but she needs it right now,” Hernandez said.
VIDEO: Cancer patient receives wig made from nurse’s hair.
Erika Hernandez-Bowers, one of our nurses at the Dyson Breast Center at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, made the selfless decision to cut 26 inches of her hair for her breast cancer patient Kim Ross. Yesterday, Kim (second from the right) was able to debut her wig made by Wigs By Angelline and was joined by Erika, Angeline, and Nurse Practitioner Sara Winterleitner. We think she looks fantastic! #BreastFriendsForever. Read More
According to an article in the Poughkeepsie Journal, Poughkeepsie resident and breast cancer survivor Kim Ross has been presented with a wig made from hair donated by her nurse Erika Hernandez, who works in the Dyson Breast Center at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.
Most people think nothing of getting a haircut — but the latest trims for Poughkeepsie natives Kim Ross and Erika Hernandez come with much emotion attached.An event planner for the Culinary Institute of America, Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer in September after a trip to her OB/GYN and undergoing various tests at the Dyson Center for Cancer. Hernandez, the 25-year-old licensed nurse who assisted her at the Dyson Center, was so moved by Ross and the other patients she assisted, that she wanted to give back where she could.
“I decided to give the most sentimental gift — my hair — to someone who needed it more than me,” she recalls, noting that women who face cancer often feel like they lose some of their dignity when chemotherapy forces their hair to fall out. “I didn’t want [Kim] to worry about her image while she was fighting this battle.” Read More
An’Tyrice Salon and Spa is a part of a committee whose goal is in raising money for the
American Cancer Society through the “Step into Spring Dinner and Fashion Show.”
Step into Spring Fashion Show participation certificate
Honoree Award for the 2013 Athena Award
Honoree certificate from New York State Senator Terry Gibson
Certificate recognizing Angelline Smalls’ work from the New York State Assembly