One Ormond woman is using her own cancer plight to bring awareness to others.
Lisa Nelubovich really loved her long, blonde hair. Though it wasn’t her natural hair color, she dyed it that way because she felt more herself. When she lost her hair during chemotherapy, her first wig of choice was nearly identical to her original locks.
“At first, you want your normal self,” she said. “I was still getting to be me.”
Now, Nelubovich owns 15 wigs in a range of colors and styles, and loves that she gets to experiment with things she would have never done before.
“I’ve created my new normal,” she smiled while sporting a red wig. “I’ve had to reestablish why my normal is, and you do that by accepting who you are and not letting cancer hold you back.
First diagnosed with ovarian cancer in February, the admission director at Opis Senior Services said that though she was devastated by the news, she has chosen to stay strong for her kids, 18-year-old James Nelubovich and 6-year-old Montell Nelubovich — even through rounds of chemotherapy and surgery.
“I’m a single parent, and my oldest has been great with helping his brother,” she said. “My youngest knows I'm sick, but doesn't really understand. We joke about my bald head, and he thinks I cut it off for fun. The other night he rubbed the back of my head and said ‘Mom you kinda feel like a dog.’”
Though she was supposed to have her second and final surgery this Oct. 16, she made her doctor cancel so she could participate in Be Bold, Be Bald, a national day of cancer awareness and fundraising. The Opis Senior Service is hosting party, and she created a team name that could be seen as a tribute to her former hairdo: “Balds Have More Fun.”
“I wanted to give back to people,” Nelubovich said. “My heart is really into it.”
Though she was devastated by the unexpected news, Nelubovich said the experience has really helped her to get her priorities right.
“You stop worrying about the little things,” she said. “Instead of laying in bed and being sad, you get up and take your kids to the park. It’s about being strong and staying positive. If you really believe you’re going to get through it, then you’re going to get through it.”
If You Go
On Oct. 16, people all over the world will wear bald caps in honor of Be Bold, Be Bald, a charity that supports the cancer fight. Two locations in Ormond Beach will be hosting events in honor of that day. Entry fee gets you lunch and your own bald cap to personalize.
- When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 16
- Where: The Coquina Center, 170 N. Center St.
- Cost: $12
- When: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 16
- Where: Bridgeview Center Nursing Home, 350 S. Ridgewood Ave.
- Cost: $12
If you’d like to order your own bald cap kit, visit www.beboldbebald.org/baldshavemorefun.