A group of women in Bundaberg, Queensland, are on a mission to bring more complementary cancer therapy to regional areas.
The Friendlies Foundation, which raises funds for the Friendly Society Private Hospital, are determined to provide a second scalp cooling machine, which will make a “huge difference” in the treatment of people undergoing chemotherapy.
Scalp cooling is a complementary therapy that may limit hair loss in patients.
The Friendlies Foundation public relations officer, Tunja Cottier, said the foundation had already donated the funds to The Friendlies for the purchase of the first machine for the Day Oncology Unit, at a cost of almost $50,000.
“The Friendlies recognised the need to bring this technology to a regional centre,” she said.
“One of the main aims of The Friendlies Foundation is to support The Friendlies in growing and expanding healthcare services in Bundaberg to reduce the need for patients having to travel to Brisbane.
“Dozens of patients have already benefited from scalp cooling during treatment, and with a second machine, we can make sure more patients have access to this therapy.”
Day Oncology Nurse Unit Manager, DA Halpin, said the benefit of the complementary therapy was undeniable.
“We have had patients who were not going to try chemotherapy or who were going to travel to Brisbane who have now been able to have their treatments here,” she said.
“But also, a lot of patients, especially women, feel very self-conscious when they start to lose their hair.
“Being able to potentially reduce that hair loss has an amazing effect on patients’ emotions and self-confidence while they battle a cancer diagnosis and treatment.”
The Fundraising group are hosting a multidraw raffle during the next few months to raise money for a second Paxman Scalp Cooling Machine. People in the Bundaberg area can purchase tickets from: Signature Hair, Burnett Carpet Court, OMF and The Friendlies Foundation office.