About the LHAS Orchid Fund
Many of us do not appreciate the little things in life until we are no longer able to enjoy them. Hair can be a vital aspect of our identity and security, which is why the loss of one’s hair can be a traumatic experience. Because hair loss is such a personal issue, many patients never discuss or explore the non-surgical options available to them. By making non-surgical hair replacement options financially available to patients, these individuals no longer have to suffer their indignity in silence.
In 2005, Ladies Hospital Aid Society (LHAS) established a salon to meet this social service need and in 2012 the Orchid Fund was created as a patient assistance fund in order to provide non-surgical hair replacement assistance for individuals who are experiencing hair loss. Patients suffering from disorders such as alopecia and trichotillomania, as well as those individuals who have experienced hair loss due to chemotherapy and radiation treatments, or physical trauma, such as burns, discover that they have a renewed self-image and restored confidence once they are given the opportunity to find the hair replacement option that best meets their needs.
With the desire to provide individuals with the best care, LHAS established a partnership with Debbie Mancuso and her salon, Hair Enhancements of Pittsburgh. The salon specializes in ready-to-wear wigs and custom-designed fitted cranial prosthesis. Debbie, along with her dedicated staff of certified hair stylists, implement the latest techniques of customizing, fitting, blending, and attachment methods in order to provide patients with a personalized hair replacement experience. Individuals can utilize the services of Debbie and her staff at Hair Enhancements of Pittsburgh.
LHAS has created two ways that qualified individuals may utilize in order to defray costs: The Orchid Voucher and the Petal Program. Each provided services to a different group of patients in order to provide them with funds to seek non-surgical hair replacement options.
Through the LHAS Orchid Fund and Hair Enhancements of Pittsburgh, a $75 voucher is available to individuals with hair loss due to chemotherapy and radiation treatments for assistance with wigs and other hair replacement options. Any oncology patient is eligible for the Orchid Voucher with a note from their physician. The Orchid Voucher may be used toward any purchase of a wig or hair replacement option through Hair Enhancements of Pittsburgh.
The Petal Program
The Petal Program is a special component of the Orchid Fund that defrays the cost of hair replacement services for children and young adults (under twenty-one years of age) who are experiencing hair loss. Through generous donations and ongoing support from LHAS fundraising events, the Petal Program is able to provide hair replacement strategies for these children, valued up to $1000 per year.
With a tax-deductible contribution of $25 to the Orchid Fund, the Ladies Hospital Aid Society will create a customized Petal Program, which can recognize, honor, or memorialize a particular loved one. The Petals will be displayed during the month of August at the annual Wild Orchid Party.
Stories of Success
Kristina was a 14 year-old cancer patient with life experiences that placed her well beyond her years. When she communicated her wish to once again have beautiful hair, it was through the aid of the Orchid Fund that Kristina’s wish was able to be fulfilled only 48 hours after making her request. Since Kristina’s family did not have the means to acquire a wig, LHAS stepped in to help; along with the efforts and skill of Debbie Mancuso, Kristina was able to have one of her final wishes become a reality.
Jennifer suffered from trichotillomania, which is hair loss due to a psychological compulsion to pull out hair or to pull and twist hair until it breaks. According to Jennifer, feelings of depression, anxiety, and poor self-image pervaded her everyday existence. Through the financial aid of the Orchid Fund and Debbie Mancuso’s dedication and skill, Jennifer was provided with a beautiful head of hair and a new outlook on life. She is now a happy, healthy, and socially engaged college student.
Petal Wish Donation is a $25 donation to the Orchid Fund that also allows you to honor or commemorate a loved one.
Orchid Voucher Donation is a $75 donation that will cover the cost of an Orchid Voucher for one patient.
Patient Assistance Fund Donation is a $150 donation that will help to defray the cost of a wig for those individuals who need financial assistance.
Petal Program Donation is a $1,000 donation that will enable one child to receive assistance with his/her hair replacement option.
Donate Your Hair
A donation of human hair is a wonderful way for individuals to support the Orchid Fund. If you are interested in making a donation of hair, the following requirements must be met:
- The hair donation must be eight (8) inches or longer in length.
- Hair must be clean and dry, non-chemically treated hair is preferred but any hair in good condition will be accepted (gray hair is also accepted).
- The donation should be pony-tailed and/or braided with a rubber band or ponytail holder at each end in order to keep the hair in one direction.
Please contact your local salon or Hair Enhancements of Pittsburgh to make an appointment to donate your hair. If your appointment is with an outside salon, the donation must be placed in a sealable, plastic bag and mailed along with contact information, including email address, and a Hair Donation Form to:
Hair Enhancements of Pittsburgh
2891 West Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
A certificate recognizing donations will be sent, as requested, by either U.S. Mail or email.