Houstonian and breast cancer survivor unwavering in commitment to give free wigs to cancer patients

Nearly 2 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone.

Jacob Rascon Image
Friday, October 21, 2022
Houstonian gives 8,000 wigs to cancer patients
Visibile Changes owner Maryanne McCormack, a cancer survivor, has not wavered from her commitment to provide wigs to cancer patients. Here, she shares her story with Jacob Rascon.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Everyone knows someone impacted by cancer.

Nearly 2 million Americans will be diagnosed this year alone. Chemotherapy is usually required to treat the disease, and most chemotherapy patients lose their hair.

Houstonian Maryanne McCormack survived breast cancer but lost her hair. She remembers how much it meant to have a nice wig.

McCormack and her husband created the salon Visible Changes in 1977. Today, there are a dozen locations throughout greater Houston.

"When I get out of here," she remembers thinking during treatment in 2009, "I'm going to find wigs and Visible Changes is going to give women wigs and I'm going to talk them into doing it!"

Thirteen years later, McCormack has not wavered from her commitment.

Her passion project "Thair For You" offers any cancer patient a free wig and fitting.

"We've probably given away up to eight or 9,000 wigs by now," she said. "You don't have to be a client. Just go to any one of our salons. We suggest you come as soon as hair starts coming out."

The service is possible, McCormack says, thanks in large part to the help of many partners.

She'll never forget her first.

"I had such a hard time trying to find wigs," she remembers. "I ended up buying 400 wigs, and when they got to Houston, my daughter and I counted them, and there were 444. So I called up the guy, his name was Deo, and I said, 'Deo, you gave me too many wigs!' He said, 'Oh no, I want to be involved too!'"

But the service is also expensive. Every year, Thair For You holds a fundraiser. This year's will be on Sunday night.

"It's a party, it's a fashion show, it's women getting wigs on. It's a dance party, 'Project Runway' designers are going to be there," she said. "You can come to Memorial City. It starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 to get in. We have VIP tickets that are $75. Not too many of those left."

Visit ThairForYou.org to buy tickets, learn more and donate.