Dana McSwain of Charlotte, North Carolina, found out she had stage 2 breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Not only that, but the 36-year-old, who is a mom to two daughters and one stepson, also learned she has the BRCA2 gene mutation, which makes her more susceptible to certain cancers.
Realizing she was in for a lifelong battle against the disease, Dana started chemotherapy just two weeks after finding out her diagnosis.
Like many people undergoing cancer treatments, she was particularly sad when her long hair began to fall out in handfuls. She decided to take the plunge and shave her head and shared the moment with her friends on Facebook.
Once her hair was gone, Dana struggled to feel like herself. She couldn’t find an alternative that was affordable and looked like her own hair.
“Every wig I put on, I couldn’t get it off fast enough,” she told GMA. “I thought, ‘This is not me. This doesn’t work.’”
Frustrated, she vented her feelings to a Facebook support group. Little did she know her fellow moms would jump at the chance to help her!
Carol Daley Cook is a registered nurse who lives in Dana’s town. The Facebook post got her thinking about her own long hair and how much she wanted to share it.
She asked some other group members if they would contribute their locks for a custom halo wig for Dana. Five women and one 7-year-old girl stepped up, some of them complete strangers to Dana. They contributed both hair and money and got the wig to her free of charge!
A week later, Carol brought the beautiful gift to Dana’s house. When Dana pulled out the soft wig made from love, she couldn’t believe her eyes!
“When I opened it, I knew immediately what it was,” she said. “The feeling of it had a different feeling than synthetic hair, and I knew it was real hair and I knew Carol had cut her hair so I knew that’s what it was.”
Finding out the donations actually came from a group of people was “indescribable,” and Dana just couldn’t get enough of her look!
“I would not take it off,” she added. “It just looked like me again and I recognized myself.”
With a double mastectomy and radiation in her future, Dana will be relying on her friendships more than ever before. Thankfully, she has a fantastic support system to help her every step of the way!
Share this story to wish Dana a speedy recovery.
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