Fellowship for Post Graduate Medicine Award: Acceptance Comments

His Forbes article, Coils to Locs: Cancer And A Life Pivot Creates A Startup, is personal to Mr. Sherman.

Dianne Austin, a health care executive at a major Boston hospital center, saw cancer patients every day, never imagining she’d be one. But yet there she was, undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, her hair falling out in clumps from the treatment.

When she went to find a wig to cover her now bare and sensitive scalp, she was shocked to find there were no medical grade wigs for Black women. There were ample straight hair wigs, but no kinky-curly hair wigs for women of color.

Yet thousands of Black women and other women of color are diagnosed and treated for cancer every year, and others with medical treatments that also cause them to lose their hair.

Ms. Austin, a quiet woman with a steely resolve, saw this as a glaring gap in a medical need that had to be addressed. While going through her own treatments, she founded Coils to Locs to provide wigs to women facing medical or illness induced hair loss.

This is personal to Mr. Sherman, whose own mother–a gifted artist–faced cancer four separate times in her life and as she would sometimes remark, in the cold humor of cancer, none of the fun ones. She survived a radical mastectomy for breast cancer and a hysterectomy for ovarian cancer to live to 92 years old.

As he comments in his remarks accepting the award from the U.K.-based Fellowship for Post Graduate Medicine, if he can help Dianne Austin and any other women facing cancer get access to a wig that gives them the strength to go on one more day, then this story has won more than any award can offer.