Hair stylist Leah Orton at Bardot about to cut Molly Sullivan’s hair on Monday. (Molly Sullivan Photo)

Oak Bay woman faces second battle with cancer

As a youth, Molly Sullivan couldn’t afford a wig – now she’s making them

For the second time in her life, Oak Bay’s Molly Sullivan is fighting cancer.

The first time, she was a 16-year-old in the oncology ward of B.C. Children’s Hospital with the rare diagnosis of aplastic anaemia (treated similar to leukemia, the body doesn’t produce enough blood cells). It was 1990 and she benefited from a successful bone marrow transplant which was still a relatively new procedure.

READ MORE: Sooke girl, 9, donates hair to support kids with cancer

The brutal reality of this life returned in April of this year when Sullivan was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She had surgery five weeks ago and is now recovering.

Finding out she has cancer again was “not great,” to put it succinctly. For now, she can build on the relative success of the surgery as she starts chemotherapy and radiation this week. The mom of two teenage boys is off work as a senior business expertise manager for Service Canada for at least the next six months.

View this post on Instagram

Even when you don’t want to. ✨🧡

A post shared by Young Women vs. Uterine Cancer (@thewombtangclan) on

“I am quite fortunate to have had 29 years free,” Sullivan said. “Having had it before, there is an increased risk of cancer recurring.”

Knowing she’s going lose her hair, Sullivan pre-emptively cut it off on Monday in lengths long enough to donate to Wigs For Kids B.C. Sullivan also started a fundraiser for Wigs For Kids, an initiative through B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation, having already raised $760 of her $1,000 goal on Wednesday.

Cutting her hair off on Monday wasn’t fun but in between the tears, it was as good as can be expected, she said.

The reason she’s doing it is to provide wigs for the next girl who has to lose her hair, just as Sullivan did when she was a teen.

Back then there was no Wigs For Kids program and she was unable to buy one due to the expense, she said.

“It’s oddly traumatizing for a girl or young woman to lose their hair,” Sullivan said.

“The nurses told me I would lose my hair but as a teenager, I didn’t believe it, I was in denial. Then it kind of melted out of my head, bit by bit, until I cut the rest off.”

It still costs about $2,000 to put a wig together, which is why Sullivan is involved with Wigs For Kids B.C.

“It’s not just hair that they need but also money to help put the wigs together.”

Residents of Oak Bay might also know Sullivan for her volunteer time helping with the Oak Bay Band Parents Association. She does communications for the Oak Bay High School Band and is the social media coordinator for Oak Bay Choir and Carnarvon Ball Club.

Because of her social media experience and current diagnosis, Sullivan is also an admin for the @thewombtangclan on Instagram. The womb tang clan is an awareness site for young women with endometrial cancer.

“It’s very difficult to screen for so work is underway to create additional awareness,” Sullivan said.

Wigs For Kids B.C. helps provide wigs to young cancer patients, in addition to assisting with other costs. Sullivan set up a pledge drive to support Wigs For Kids and is asking the community for support, whether its $5 to for W4K, a pledge drive, or even an extreme haircut of your own.

To donate to Molly Sullivan’s Wigs For Kids campaign visit this story online at Oakbaynews.com.

reporter

@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(Molly Sullivan Photo)

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula business leader calls for education campaign on social distancing

Chamber boss Denny Warner says Sidney demographics make consistent safety protocols necessary

Fish habitat enhancement champions set to start next project in Saanich

The latest stage of restorations to Colquitz Creek runs Aug. 4 to 14

New development will pay homage to fallen World War One pilot

1015 Cook St. will become 28 market rental homes with mural

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Island youth starts virtual race against racism

Cailyn Collins says people can take part in the cause from anywhere

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Most Read