Jul 25th 2016
Birmingham man donates scalp cooler to hospital in his wife’s memory
Friends and family of a Birmingham man, who lost his wife to cancer, have raised nearly £10,000 to buy a scalp cooler for the hospital where she was treated.
Police officer, Frank Kiernan lost his ‘beautiful wife’, Kriss last year to Lyomiosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer.
Kriss had two sessions of chemotherapy at the Birmingham Treatment Centre and throughout each treatment wore the Paxman Scalp Cooler to prevent the loss of her hair. Keeping her hair meant so much to his wife that along with family and friends, Frank decided to raise enough money to buy a scalp cooler in her memory.
The father of two said: “We just wanted to help other cancer sufferers keep their hair at what is a traumatic time of their lives, when everything seems to be against them.”
“We all saw how good it made Kriss feel and how important it was to her, so we just knew that it was the right thing to do. Her name will now live on and everyone who uses it will know how special she was. Special enough for people to fundraise in her honour.”
Hair loss is a well-known side effect of many chemotherapy regimens, with many patients reporting that it is the most traumatic aspect of their treatment.
Scalp cooling provides the only real alternative to hair loss, resulting in a high level of retention or complete hair preservation, therefore improving patients’ self-confidence and creating positive attitudes towards treatment.
Speaking about the treatment, Frank said: “Scalp cooling helped Kriss keep her hair, it also generally made her feel better and more positive about everything. She still looked a million dollars when she died.”
At her funeral, Kriss’ family and friends raised £2,500. They continued their fundraising efforts by organising a number of events including Motown themed nights and a ‘Soccer 6’ competition. The events were supported by local businesses including Jaguar Land Rover and Lambe Construction.
Frank added: “I just wanted to say thank you to all my family, friends and work colleagues for all the support they have given me and my two boys, Sean and Connor. I also want like to say thank you to my fundraising team and everybody else who has contributed along the way.”
“The oncology staff at the Birmingham Treatment Centre are angels. The support we have had has been incredible and it is nice to be able to give something back to the hospital.”
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 32 countries and is responsible for helping patients to reduce chemotherapy-induced alopecia and retain normality whilst undergoing their treatment.
Made from lightweight, silicone tubing, the scalp cooling cap is soft and flexible – providing a snug yet comfortable cap during treatment by moulding to all head shapes and sizes. Liquid coolant passes through the cap extracting heat from the patient’s scalp, ensuring the scalp remains at an even, constant temperature to minimise hair loss.
Claire Paxman, Sales and Training Manager at Paxman, said: “This is such a humbling story and we are delighted to be able to help. Frank has told us how much it meant to Kriss to be able to keep her hair during chemotherapy and now, hundreds of people facing similar circumstances can do the same, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Frank’s family and friends.”
Amanda Downes, Senior Sister Chemotherapy, said: “We are extremely grateful to the family and friends who have raised a very large amount of money in memory of one of our chemotherapy patients Kriss Kiernan who had treatment with us in June and July 2015. The money raised has been used to purchase a scalp cooling machine which helps prevent hair loss for patients on chemotherapy.
“Furthermore the machine is a double unit which enables two people to use it at a time. Chemotherapy induced alopecia can often be the most devastating aspect of a patient’s oncology journey so being able to offer them a chance to prevent hair loss is invaluable and can help to relieve anxiety at a very stressful time in their lives. On behalf of patients and staff in the chemotherapy unit, we thank Mr Kiernan and his family and friends.”
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