Owners of a salon that provides wigs to women with cancer are circulating an online petition in an attempt to save the beloved businesses.
For the last 14 years, Salon Revive has provided an array of wigs, hats and scarves in a salon at the B.C. Cancer Agency building at Royal Jubilee Hospital, to patients dealing with hair loss due to cancer treatments.
However, at the end of November, owner Leanna Eastgate received a noticed stating the agency is terminating the lease of the 10 foot by 10 foot space and must be out by Jan. 31.
“My first word was this is just wrong. I was shocked. I just always felt that Sheila and I were part of this clinic and I know the community thought that, but obviously we’re not,” Eastgate said. “Now I’m just really, really sad.”
Eastgate opened the salon after dealing with her own hair loss due to alopecia.
Now, owners are circulating an online petition with hopes the cancer agency will allow them to stay in the same building.
“(Patients) need this here for their recovery. They have enough stress when they’re diagnosed, they don’t need to figure out where to get a wig and how to get there,” said Sheila MacKay, a stylist and hairdresser, who has been with the salon since it opened.
“The people who are going to lose out are the patients and that’s who this is affecting.”
More than 2,700 people have signed the petition so far, many providing heartfelt testimonials about the benefits of the salon.
One person said “the love and kindness given out is huge and cannot be measured . . . to take this away from the patients who so dearly need their services and kind support is a travesty.”
Another said “My daughter had cancer and had to get a wig. Sheila was incredible. I cannot express how important this service was . . . this services goes hand in hand with cancer recovery.”
There are more than 65 pages of comments in support of the salon since the petition was created earlier this year.
Eastgate hopes to set up a meeting with the cancer agency this week to present the petition. She added she hopes the cancer agency can find another location for them within the same building.
But the cancer agency is standing firm on its decision.
“Although the salon is a small space, coordinating a renovation with adjacent areas will give us the ability to add three, if not four, clinical exam rooms,” said Kelly Nystedt, regional director for the B.C. Cancer Agency Vancouver Island Centre via email.
“We recognize that the salon provides a valuable service to patients. Unfortunately this high demand for public space means that moving the for-profit business to another area within the facility is not an option.”
After Jan. 31, the salon will be forced to move to Capilia on Quadra Street, a clinic centre that offers hair transplants, trichology and solutions for permanent hair loss.
“It wasn’t really intended to move people from (the hospital) to (Capilia),” said Eastgate, adding she has roughly $20,000 of winter inventory that must be moved in the process. “Thankfully, I can move this there, but it needs to be here (at the hospital).”
To sign the petition visit change.org and search Save Salon Revive at B.C. Cancer Agency.