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The Mutual Bank funding has HBCF wig library covered

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When Maria Rendina prepares wigs for ladies undergoing treatment for breast cancer in the region, she does so with great love and care.

Every strand of every wig is meticulously washed, and combed, and delicately dried before being sent to homes across the Hunter.

With a colour range as broad as the women who wear them, the lifelike head coverings include highlights and lowlights that hairdressers would envy.

For the women who wear them, they offer a chance to smile at the reflection in the mirror again.

“When you’re going through this sort of treatment, losing your hair is part of the whole process, but it’s not nice,” says Maria. 

“I’ve got a girlfriend who’s going through treatment now for the second time and she was looking at wigs and her husband said, ‘Oh look, don’t do that, I’ll shave my head and we’ll both go without’, which is lovely, but it’s the way a woman feels without any hair that’s important.”

It’s something Maria knows first-hand.

In November 2020 she was diagnosed with cancer and underwent her own battle against the disease.

While the world bunkered down during COVID-19, Maria endured bouts of chemo and radiation without physically having family support around her.

The experience, she says, changed the way she viewed local support.

“I knew I wanted to help other people going through treatment for cancer, I just didn’t know how,” she told the Newcastle Weekly.

“Then I heard about Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation and I thought, what a great thing they’re doing driving people that haven’t got transport to their treatment.”

Maria became a volunteer driver with the Kotara-based charity.

“There are single mothers out there that are driving their kids to school, they’re going back home, and I’m picking them up to take them to treatment because they’re not supposed to be driving after, but they still have to collect the kids when later,” she said.

A corporate career meant Maria had the organisational skills that could head up the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation’s wig library.

“And, the rest is history,” she says.

The Mutual Bank will sponsor Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation’s Wig and Headwear Library for another three years. Photo: Rebecca Riddle

She now volunteers preparing, posting, cleaning and cataloging the wigs for women of the Hunter.

“When I first found out that they (HBCF) look after women right here I was so impressed,” says Maria.

“These are the people around you while you’re doing your grocery shopping or your banking, the person you’ve walked past on your walk.

“That’s very special.”

On Thursday 2 May, Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation was thrilled to receive confirmation from The Mutual Bank that it would be sponsoring its Wig Library for another three years.

“We are delighted and grateful for this three-year partnership with The Mutual Bank,” says HBCF general manager Abbey McDonell.

“Their unwavering commitment to Hunter people reflects their dedication to
making a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer.

“Together, we will continue to provide essential support and services to our
community.”

For The Mutual Bank, also a Hunter-based brand, owned by its members, supporting a local group that supports locals, is extra special.

“This sponsorship truly embodies The Mutual Bank’s core values of Integrity,
Respect, and Care,” says CEO Mark Williams.

“We are immensely proud to support the Wig & Headwear Library, providing comfort and assistance to those facing breast cancer in our community.”

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