Friday, 31 August 2007

Cancer survivor forced to remove wig for driving test

Filed under:

At the University of Florida, where my husband works, spouses can get campus I.D. cards which allow access to recreational centers, swimming pools, a university lake, and more. A few years ago, I stood in line for my card. It was during my chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, and I wore a blond wig topped with a ball cap. Once at the front of line, a college student employee told me to remove my hat so my photo could be taken.

I couldn't take my hat off -- it covered a partial wig made for use with hats, and the very top was made of soft cotton and no hair. I didn't want to be photographed wearing my clown-like wig. I didn't want to be photographed bald. I wanted to look as normal as possible during a time when I felt nothing of the sort.

I told the I.D. center staff of my situation and although these young people seemed a bit unsettled by my story, they complied. And I now have an I.D. that pictures me, my blond wig, and my pink hat. It looks nothing like me. My post-chemo hair came in dark and curly.

A young woman in England didn't have my good fortune when she was recently ordered to remove her wig during a driving test.

Hannah Marie Jones, 20, says she was humilated and driven to tears after being told she must remove her beanie hat for her driver's license photo. Her wig was stitched onto the hat and when she removed the hat, the hair came with it. Jones had told employees of her situation but security measures prevented anyone from making an exception.

Jones failed her driving test, but was told she can take her next one for free. She doesn't want a free test. She just wants an apology.

No comments: