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Get Pink: Metro cancer survivor makes it her life mission to help others

Ann Patton, a cancer survivor, has made it her mission to give back to those fighting cancer. (KOKH)

For women battling cancer hair loss is often the most surprisingly difficult part of treatment.

Melissa Barnett was diagnosed with cancer this summer.

“Obviously it’s emotional, it’s overwhelming, it’s intimidating, it’s scary. I mean no woman wants to lose her hair,” Barnett said.

But for Melissa, embracing her hair loss made her feel in control.

“It started falling out and I tried to hold onto it as long as I could and finally decided you know, it’s time to shave it and we’ll look for a wig,” Barnett said.

So that’s exactly what she did. Two weeks ago Melissa had her head shaved at a local salon. She says the decision was easier thanks to Ann Patton.

“Ann is very comforting, she’s been doing this a long time, she understands, she’s been through it with other women so I actually went through it without tears. I was very proud of myself,” Barnett said.

Inside the Egyptian Salon of Ann Patton there are hundreds of wigs in all colors. Short and long, curly and straight. Ann says wigs have come a long way in the last few decades. With more than 50-years experience Ann often finds the perfect hair piece immediately. Melissa picked the first wig Ann tried. It’s a gift Ann discovered early in life.

“I was the one that was always braiding girl’s hair and cutting girl’s pictures out of the paper, I just loved hair," Patton said.

But wigs became part of Ann’s career when she won her own cancer battle. Now she makes it her mission to give back a little of what cancer takes away because she knows “when a woman loses their hairs it’s so traumatic.”

Melissa says her wig is a confidence boost. For Ann, making women like Melissa feel more like women, and less like cancer patients, is a blessing she says she’s lucky to live every day. If you or someone you know wants to find out more about the Egyptian Salon of Ann Patton call 405-755-1110.

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