MESA, AZ — The lives of cancer patients are improved every day at Sunny’s Hair Extensions and Wigs in Mesa.
“When they come in, a lot of times they’re really distraught, they’ll come in in tears or as they sit down and take off their scarf, then they’ll start crying,” said Store Manager Roberta Smith.
Smith is used to crying along with them, but once the tears are shed, it’s time to make them smile once again.
“It’s hard but we try to make it fun for them too so we’ll a lot of times pull down pink or red or we’ll pull down long really crazy ones too to try and make it fun,” said Smith.
For those being treated for cancer, losing your hair can feel like losing your identity, and going into a place like this isn’t easy. But when they do, this business is committed to keeping them safe especially due to their vulnerable health.
“I looked up and I noticed him standing out here videotaping, We have this sign here that says because we have clients with weakened immune systems, we still have everyone here wear a mask,” said Smith. “I thought, oh this isn’t going to be good.”
She says on May 28, that man, a known anti-masking advocate with other extreme views began harassing them inside the store about the policy.
The man filmed a video and threatened the workers with internet shame.
In the video, the employees ask him to put on a mask to which he argues they don’t work. They ask why he doesn’t care about the health of cancer patients to which he replies with the same answer.
What matters is how these ladies calmly explained their stance and kept their cool despite the offensive act.
After five minutes of arguing, he finally left. Harassing phone calls began to roll in once the man posted the video to his online followers. Leaving many of the employees traumatized.
“The phone would ring, and we would like is it going to be them, or when someone would come in and it was like is it him again, is it his people,” said employee Verneye Tsosie.
However, in the face of hate, love from the community and beyond shined through.
“We’ve had people calling us from New Hampshire, New Jersey, Kentucky, they’ve called from everywhere to give us their support, the mayor came in to see us yesterday,” said Smith.
“A lot of the callers were people who maybe had cancer or had a loved one pass away, so it was just nice to know that not everybody is as evil as that guy is,” said Tsosie.
And on this day, we’re grateful for people like these ladies and the work they do, to better the lives of so many no matter who tries to stop them.