Friday, August 10th, Teena Brown of Clarice’s Room of Hope was the guest speaker and she shared the story behind the charity.
Brown stated that in September of 2008, she lost her mother, Clarice Tisher, to Acute Leukemia. Brown said that her mother was informed that she would lose her hair due to the chemotherapy treatments.
Brown said the hospital referred her mother to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation in Fort Smith where she was fitted with a wig.
Brown said she made a promise to her mother that she would work on providing services similar to the Reynolds facility in Mena for cancer patients. Unfortunately, Clarice passed away before Brown was able to open Clarice’s Room of Hope.
Today, Brown and some volunteers help provide comfort and hope to cancer patients. She said the offer wigs, pay utility bills, and provide temporary housing, gas cards and volunteer transportation. Brown also hosts a gathering for cancer patients, their caregivers and loved ones on the last Monday of the month. Brown said, “It’s a positive thing. We don’t let anyone get down and stay down.”
Brown said the gatherings are not only for women, but men also.
Brown said if you know a cancer patient that needs some hope to contact her at 479-385-5071 and make an appointment. She said it takes about an hour to pick out a wig. Brown also teaches the client how to care for the wig. And, all of the services at Clarice’s Room of Hope are free.
Brown stated they hold several fundraisers throughout the year to raise funds to purchase the wigs. She also mentioned Clarice’s Room of Hope is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductable. Adult wigs cost an average of $60, but a child’s wig is around $1,200 and are made specifically to fit the child.
Brown reported Clarice’s Room of Hope recently received a grant from the Arkansas Cancer Coalition that will allow her to offer their services to other communities. She said she has helped cancer patients from Mena, De Queen, Mt Ida, Waldron and from parts of Oklahoma.