(PALMER, Alaska) — An Alaska woman is hoping to recruit more volunteers to help her create special “princess” wigs for kids with cancer as part of her “Magic Yarn Project.”
Holly Christensen of Palmer, Alaska, initially started the project after a friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Christensen used to work as a cancer nurse and knew the treatment would be difficult on the 2-year-old girl.
“Once a cancer nurse, always a cancer nurse. It’s so heart-wrenching and life-changing to work in cancer,” Christensen told ABC News. “Last fall, I found out that the little girl of one of my college friends was just diagnosed with cancer. She’s such a girly girl and loves princesses and is about to lose her long beautiful hair” to chemotherapy.
Hoping to cheer the girl up, Christensen made her a long wig out of yellow yarn made to resemble the long braid of Rapunzel. Christensen had figured out how to make the unique princess hairstyles while coming up with her daughters’ Halloween costumes when they dressed as Princess Elsa and Princess Anna from Disney’s Frozen movie. (The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News.)
Chirstensen said the special wig was a hit and that she immediately heard from another family asking for a similar wig for their child with cancer.
“The chemotherapy leaves their skin very tender and sensitive,” Christensen explained of why some cancer patients don’t like to wear traditional wigs. “[The wigs] are made on soft crocheted beanies.”
Looking for help to make more wigs, Christensen set up a workshop and quickly started hearing from dozens of other people looking to either help or get a beanie from a family member.
“That’s been really neat,” Christensen said of hearing from people, including a craft group in a women’s prison, who want to help.
“To bring a little bit of magic into such a difficult time in their life is so rewarding. It’s almost equally been so rewarding and magical to meet people who want to help.”
Christensen is raising money for more supplies now and said all the wigs are being given away to young cancer patients for free. While she focuses on princess hair styles, she’s also developing a custom-made rainbow wig for one 4-year-old girl, who had just been diagnosed with cancer.
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.