In Jackson, Mississippi, Clarissa Hickmon is providing wigs and hope for African American women fighting cancer.
Clarissa Hickmon, of Jackson, Mississippi, is giving strength and encouragement to women fighting cancer in her hometown. She knows firsthand what it feels like to be diagnosed, go through chemotherapy and lose all of your hair.
In 2009 she was going through treatment for breast cancer and struggled to find a decently priced wig suitable for an African American woman.
Eventually, her hairdresser was able to make her a wig, but she couldn’t stop thinking about other women going through the same thing.
Clarissa had been a volunteer for Dress for Success—an organizationthat provides interview suits, confidence boosts and career development to low-income women—and for years had helped women find their confidence to get back on their feet. When she was battling breast cancer, she thought, “What happens when a woman can’t afford a wig and is going through chemotherapy?”
Together with Dress for Success and the local American Cancer Society, Clarissa started the Dress for Success Metro-Jackson PWG Wig Project and has been raising awareness and hosting wig drives ever since.
She told TakePart she started the Wig Project because she felt like her experience could really help someone. She says she hopes to give people “encouragement and strength.”
A local high school in Jackson and Virginia College have also come on board to help. Clarissa explained that while something like a wig can seem so minor, it can, in fact, have a major impact on a woman’s battle with cancer.