Ridgeland student starts nonprofit to prevent hair loss for cancer patients

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and one of the main side effects of cancer treatment is hair loss. One Madison County student is making hair saving technology accessible to all Mississippians.

Stanley Qu is a senior at St. Andrew’s and has worked on developing a non profit called “Keep Your Hair,” which helps making cold caps, a lesser known hair saving technique that can be used during chemotherapy. Recent studies show that more than 66% of women kept more than half of their when using a cold cap during cancer treatment.

Cold caps use vasoconstriction, which is cold temperature that constricts the blood vessels. And if you lower the temperature of the scalp low enough you can minimize the amount of chemotherapy contact with the hair follicles, which will in turn prevent hair loss. These cold caps are often expensive and not covered by health insurance. So Stanley wants to make them more affordable and accessible so losing hair during cancer treatment is an option, not a guarantee.

He started the idea three years after his mom was diagnosed with cancer, in 2014. She was very concerned with the prospect of losing her hair, a common worry for most women undergoing chemotherapy.

Tammara Kennedy and Pam Chustz both used the cold cap technology from Stanley, only having to pay for the dry ice used to cool down the caps. They say that it was such a blessing to keep most of their hair and not have to worry about that side effect of cancer treatment.

Stanley is hoping to raise $10,000 so that he can provide the low cost cold caps to cancer treatment clinics across the state of Mississippi. You can learn more about his nonprofit and donate at keepyourhairnpo.org.

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