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Cold Caps Fundraising

Cold caps are worn by chemotherapy patients to help reduce or prevent hair loss caused by their treatment. The fund raising for ‘Cold Caps’ was started by Julie Van Praag after she was treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer. At that time there were not enough cold caps for every patient undergoing the treatment to have the option to use them.

In carrying on the work Julie began there is now the assurance from Rosie Roberts, the speciality nurse at Velindre Hospital, that caps and freezers are available to every patient who wishes to avail themselves of this option.

Over the last three years, through coffee mornings, lunches, makeover evenings etc. there have been purchased cold caps for Velindre, Princess of Wales, The Gwent and Neville Hall Hospitals. It is hoped to support the Cancer Unit for teenagers to be opened at the new Children Wing at the University Hospital.

Every single penny raised is used to buy equipment. There are NO administrative costs. All purchases are made through the Hospital Endowment Fund to avoid paying VAT.

Some questions you may ask:-

Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss? Chemotherapy works by killing cells in the body that are growing. Cancer cells are constantly dividing and that is why chemotherapy is used to treat cancer. Hair follicles are made of constantly dividing and that is why the treatment leads to hair loss.

What is scalp cooling? It is the use of cold caps that are worn on the head to reduce and/or prevent hair loss due to chemotherapy drugs.

How does it work? Lowering the temperature of the scalp constricts the blood vessels which feed the hair and the hair follicles. This means that the amount of drugs that can actually reach the hair roots is reduced or stopped and the hair is not fully exposed to the effect of the chemotherapy drugs.

How is scalp cooling done? With a system of gel filled caps which are stored in special freezers in the chemotherapy unit. The caps are kept in the freezer for at least 12 hours prior to use. In order to obtain a low scalp temperature a number of cap changes are needed. A cap lasts for two years before it is needed to be replaced.

How many caps are used per patient?  Three are used per session for breast cancer patients and six per session for ovarian cancer patients. The first cap can stay on for 15 minutes and the subsequent caps for 45 minutes. Each cap has to be frozen in the special freezers.

Any donations will be welcomed. Contact
Cherie John, The Byre, Penmark, Vale of Glamorgan 01446 711 857
Cherie Collins, The Downs Farm, Sully Road, Penarth, CF64 2TR Tel: 029 2070 1210