Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at North Middlesex University Hospital (North Mid) now have even more access to a treatment to manage the side effect of hair loss, thanks to the generous purchase of scalp cooling equipment by local charity, Wigs for Heroes.
Scalp cooling is a treatment that can help to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy and provides cancer patients with the only real alternative to this devastating side effect. It is widely recognised that chemotherapy-induced hair loss is one of the most traumatic side effects associated with cancer treatment which can have significant emotional impact on many patients.
In 2019, Kaz Foncette, founder of Wigs for Heroes, was the first patient to benefit from scalp cooling treatment at North Mid, thanks to the donation of Paxman Scalp Cooling equipment by the breast cancer charity Future Dreams. Fuelled by her desire to help others Kaz sought to fundraise to purchase a second Paxman machine to ensure that even more people can retain a sense of self and normality during this gruelling part of their lives.
In fact, the fundraising efforts raised sufficient funds to purchase 2 additional pieces of Paxman equipment, thanks to Nilima Shah and her family and friends, who experienced cancer treatment and the benefits of scalp cooling herself during the Covid pandemic.
Speaking about the impact of this treatment, Kaz said, "Nilima really helped unite the community in raising funds to allow Wigs for Heroes to purchase these two additional Paxman Scalp Cooling Systems for North Mid. Being able to see the impact of our hard work makes it all so worthwhile. As a former patient myself, and having previously lost my hair back in 2017 when I was first diagnosed, my ethos is all about positivity and finding the good in a difficult situation. When faced with the prospect of chemotherapy patients have a great deal of physical and psychological effects to deal with and to lose their hair is a major concern, for many resulting in a feeling of losing their identity. Nilima and I both know first-hand how Paxman scalp cooling allows patients to take some control of a side effect which would otherwise be inevitable in some treatments."
North Mid’s Chief Executive Dr Nnenna Osuji said, “We are truly grateful to Kaz, Nilima, their families and supporters, who made this happen. This is a sign of the strength and kindness of our wonderful community. It is gratifying to know that this generous donation has been sparked from the positive personal experiences of two patients.
“We are honoured to be able to care for our patients at some of the most vulnerable times of their lives. Our doctors, nurses, therapists and support staff in the cancer team at North Mid are dedicated to providing the very best treatment and care for our patients, and this equipment will help them have an even more positive impact on our patients’ experience.”
The Paxman Scalp Cooling System is the world-leading hair loss prevention system for chemotherapy patients. It has been used by over 100,000 patients in over 60 countries and is responsible for helping patients to reduce chemotherapy-induced alopecia and retain normality whilst undergoing their treatment.
Claire Paxman, Brand Ambassador at Paxman, said, “I was lucky enough to meet Kaz when she was a patient using Paxman Scalp Cooling back in 2019 and at that time learnt of the positive impact it had on her cancer journey. Paxman know how much it means to patients to be given the option to keep their hair - Wigs for Heroes generous purchase of this additional equipment means that even more people faced with chemotherapy to have the chance to preserve their hair.”