Women and men in West Yorkshire are keeping their hair during chemotherapy treatment, thanks to Scalp Coolers provided by Walk the Walk. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the charity is raising awareness of these amazing machines which can prevent or reduce hair loss for people undergoing certain types of chemotherapy treatment.
For many patients, losing their hair is the most visible sign of their treatment for cancer and can have a huge impact on their self-esteem. Keeping their hair can help people retain their identity, as well as a small sense of normality.
As hair loss is not considered life-threatening, NHS funding for Scalp Coolers is not a priority. Over the last twelve years, grants have been made by Walk the Walk for 625 machines in 247 hospitals across the country, including to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. The charity is committed to removing the postcode lottery and offering more and more people the choice of using the machines.
Karen Phillips, 60, from Huddersfield, is currently using a Scalp Cooler as she undergoes chemotherapy treatment. She said: “Using the Scalp Cooler has really made me feel human and knowing it is working to help me keep my hair keeps me strong during my chemo sessions. I have kept most of my hair, and the hair that I initially lost during the first couple of chemo sessions has grown back. I have now used the Scalp Cooler 36 times.”
Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Walk the Walk said: “Losing your hair whilst having chemotherapy, is often the final straw for many cancer patients and can be completely debilitating. Over the past 12 years Walk the Walk has worked incredibly hard towards removing the postcode lottery that has meant in some areas, cancer patients were unable to receive the choice of this treatment. It has been very important to us that we grant Scalp Coolers to as many NHS Hospital Trusts throughout the U.K. as possible. We believe that everybody should have the choice of using one of these amazing machines. I’m delighted that Karen Phillips is able to use one of the Pink Walk the Walk Scalp Coolers at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. And a huge Thank You to all the wonderful women and men who took part in The MoonWalks for raising the funds to enable this to happen.”
Walk the Walk is best known for its famous MoonWalks, when walkers take on marathon challenges in London, Edinburgh and Iceland at Midnight wearing brightly decorated bras.
For more information, or to sign up for a Walk the Walk event, visit walkthewalk.org