MISSION, TEXAS - Cancer, you have a new enemy!
A band of women from both sides of the border are bridging the gap between the U.S. and Mexico one wig at a time.
Don’t call them fighters, or survivors. Tere Castello prefers the term “angels”, Angels Without Borders.
The women collect everything from lipstick, to lotion, to makeup and wigs and take the donations from Mission, Texas to children and adults battling cancer in Mexico.
“You look at yourself in the mirror and say ‘holy mother of god,’” Angeles Sin Fronteras founder Castello said. “You are left without hair, without eyebrows, eyelashes, and that brings you down.”
The grass roots effort that began with a group of friends coming to Castello’s aid five years ago after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“You realize how bad you feel and these poor women don’t have the means,” Castello said.
She decided to call up her friends to start giving away their hats, headscarves, wigs, whatever they had.
By now, wigs are dropped every other day at Castello’s front porch, sometimes by random strangers.
The wigs get sorted out and washed, brushed and prepped before Marcela Vasquez drives them across the border.
Vasquez, a member of the group, takes them to Reynosa, Mexico. it’s a dangerous town where cancer patients at three salons and a cosmetology institute get new makeovers.
“The effort will always be worth it,” Vasquez said. “When you’re blessed by god, there’s no excuse to not give something.”
Gina Gonzalez, a three-time cancer survivor and director of the cosmetology institute in Reynosa, knows all to well the need to cover their battle wounds in order to feel better.
“It’s important to feel good about yourself,” Gonzalez said.
Later that day, the women later meet up with another ‘angel’ Dulce Cantu, one of their main wig donors and owner of a used clothing business where wigs are pulled out of piles of used clothes. So far, they’ve collected over 100 wigs this month.
To cancer patients every little wig helps.
The group Angeles Sin Fronteras believes cancer awareness should not be limited to the month of October, but continue year round as does their wig drives.
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