First patient to be given the gift of saving their hair
Thanks to funds raised by last year's Dry July participants, St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne have purchased one of the first scalp cooling caps available to public patients in Victoria.
The cap reduces the risk of hair loss during chemotherapy by decreasing scalp temperature and blood flow to hair follicles.
Afaf Shenouda couldn’t believe her luck when she was told she would be the first patient to be treated with a scalp cooling cap during her chemotherapy treatment at St Vincent’s.
‘How lucky am I to receive this treatment?’ Afaf says. ‘I’m so grateful to the donors who have given me the opportunity to keep my hair.’
‘It feels and sounds like rain, like it’s hailing on my head,’ Afaf explains, when the cap was first turned on. Afaf was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer last December and is receiving chemotherapy at the St Vincent’s Cancer Centre.
‘It all happened very suddenly. I am a very healthy mother of four and I just turned 60 last November. I discovered the lump by chance when I felt a hard lump underneath my breast, which was quite hidden. I was reluctant to tell my doctors as I was scared of what the answer may be.’
Before Afaf knew that the scalp cooling cap was available she cut off 30cms of her beautiful hair to prepare herself for
losing it during treatment. ‘My hair was my signature. My whole life I had very long hair and people would always stop me and comment how beautiful it was. It means a lot to me to have my hair and I have now been given the opportunity to save my hair.’
This new piece of equipment will significantly transform the lives of people like Afaf by improving their self-confidence and identity during this difficult time.
Making a real difference to the lives of cancer patients
This July, a dedicated group of fundraisers supported St Vincent's Hospital Cancer Centre through the Dry July campaign. This committed bunch raised a staggering $41,000 which will enable St Vincent’s Hospital to purchase a scalp cooling cap for patient’s going through chemotherapy.
The scalp cooling cap reduces the risk of hair loss during chemotherapy. By decreasing the scalp temperature and blood flow to hair follicles, the cooling caps alleviate the damage of chemotherapy.
This new piece of equipment will significantly transform people’s lives living with cancer by improving their self-confidence and dignity during this difficult time.
Along with the scalp cooling cap, Dry July donations will also be used to purchase patient comforts such as warm blankets, hot beverages and massage chairs to make a positive difference by providing an environment that is welcoming, supportive and comforting.
Thank you to our generous donors who helped St Vincent’s Hospital achieve this significant outcome, ultimately helping to provide the highest quality in patient health care and medical equipment.
Congratulations Vera na Ranong on your Dry July
Vera na Ranong was a patient at St Vincent’s Hospital and knows all too well about the importance of home comforts during treatment. After successfully completing her treatment, Vera was determined to raise funds for the St Vincent’s Cancer Centre and signed up to Dry July. “The experience of cancer is different for everyone, but for me, your support network helps you get through and provides reason to get better. The funding from Dry July helped provide the little things that are not directly required to ‘get better’ from cancer, but made a world of difference to mental health and stress levels.”
Thank you to all our participants in Dry July 2017
A huge thank you to everyone who supported Dry July. Especially our Dry July Hero's who gave up drinking for a whole month and collectively raised over $41,000. We can't wait to make the cooling cap available to our cancer patients which will help reduce the chances of losing their hair. Thank you!!!
Help us provide vital equipment for cancer patients
“As awful as my diagnosis is, I can comprehend and accept it. But the thought of my hair falling out feels like a punch to the stomach. It makes no sense to me that treating my illness should cost me my hair. It feels like a punishment, or a curse. If you can support someone's psychological health during cancer treatment, it can make a big difference to the person's quality of life and that may well have some flow on clinical benefit." Help us provide scalp cooling caps for our patients which can reduce the risk of hair loss during chemo, Support #DryJuly today.