Mor­gan shares her ‘ se­cret’ to help vic­tims

Tragedy that led to firm de­vel­op­ing cool­ing cap

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS - JOHN LEDGER CUSI­NESS REPORTER ■ Twit­ter: @ YPBiz

MOR­GAN DOWLER was dev­as­tated when her mother, Amanda, was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer.

As a bud­ding en­tre­pre­neur and phi­lan­thropist, Ms Dowler was de­ter­mined to do some­thing to im­prove the lives of all women who are bat­tling breast can­cer.

She has launched her new busi­ness, Love Me ( And My Se­cret), with a line of spe­cial­ist un­der­wear de­signed for breast can­cer pa­tients.

Ms Dowler, who grad­u­ated with a BA ( Hons) Busi­ness Man­age­ment de­gree from Leeds Beck­ett in 2013, launched four bras at an event held at the Hard Day’s Night Ho­tel in Liverpool, which helped to raise cash for North West Can­cer Re­search.

The event was at­tended by doc­tors, nurses and pa­tients from hospi­tals across the North of Eng­land, as well peo­ple who have sup­ported Ms Dowler and her pro­ject.

Ms Dowler said: “My mum was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer in 2013 while I was in my fi­nal year of study at Leeds Beck­ett. When mum was a lit­tle down we de­cided to take her shop­ping; my mum was al­ready up­set from her di­ag­no­sis never mind be­ing dis­ap­pointed by what was on the UK high street.

“With breast can­cer af­fect­ing one in eight women in the UK at some point in their life­time I was shocked noth­ing had been done sooner. In­stead of com­plain­ing about the lack of choice, I de­cided to do some­thing about it.

“We have col­lab­o­rated with doc­tors, sur­geons and nurses to pro­duce a line of bras with the pa­tients’ needs at the fore­front of the de­sign. Th­ese bras are com­fort­able, yet pretty – that even the most style- con­scious would want to wear. My vi­sion

Me ( And My Se­cret) is for Love to be­come the UK num­ber one brand for post- surgery bras.”

To view the range of bras, visit http:// love­me­and­my­se­cret.com/

EV­ERY DAY is Mother’s Day for Richard Pax­man and the staff at Pax­man Cool­ers, the Hud­der­s­field- based com­pany which has es­tab­lished a world­wide rep­u­ta­tion for its pi­o­neer­ing tech­nol­ogy used by pa­tients un­der­go­ing can­cer treat­ment.

Al­though es­tab­lished in the 1950s as Brew­fitt, which still spe­cialises in man­u­fac­tur­ing cool­ing equip­ment for the brew­ing in­dus­try, the fam­ily- run busi­ness di­ver­si­fied in mov­ing cir­cum­stances in 1992 when Richard’s mum, Sue, was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer.

In­ten­sive chemo­ther­apy for ag­gres­sive breast can­cer led to Mrs Pax­man los­ing much of her hair, and prompted her hus­band Glenn and his brother Neil to use their tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise and in­no­va­tive skills to de­velop a ground- break­ing scalp cooler that re­duces hair­loss in can­cer pa­tients.

“Los­ing her hair was the most dev­as­tat­ing side ef­fect of can­cer, not just for mum but the whole fam­ily,” said Richard, who was ap­pointed as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor in 2013.

“She was an in­cred­i­bly strong lady but los­ing her beau­ti­ful curly hair served to re­in­force her ill­ness and made her look like she was dy­ing.

“Her hair came out in clumps, it was so dis­tress­ing, and in the end my sis­ter cut it all off for her. It’s a hor­ri­ble thing to hap­pen.”

Mrs Pax­man died in 2000 but in the in­ter­ven­ing eight years Glenn and Neil had har­nessed their in­ven­tive abil­i­ties to trans­form the un­wieldy and largely in­ef­fec­tive cool­ing sys­tems al­ready in use to pro­duce a cool­ing cap that now sets the in­dus­try stan­dard.

Hair loss oc­curs be­cause chemo­ther­apy tar­gets can­cer tu­mours and all other rapidly di­vid­ing cells, in­clud­ing hair fol­li­cles. Cool­ing the hair fol­li­cles be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter treat­ment can dra­mat­i­cally re­duce hair loss.

“Scalp cool­ing has been around for 40 or 50 years but in­volved things like gel packs, tourni­quets and ice packs which are all cum­ber­some and not very ef­fec­tive,” said Richard.

“Driven by the pas­sion of do­ing some­thing to help mum, my dad and un­cle sim­ply ap­plied what they knew about cool­ing beers to pro­duce the first cool­ing sys­tem.”

In 2007 the first pro­to­type of the Pax­man Scalp Cool­ing Sys­tem was in­stalled at Hud­ders- field Royal In­fir­mary and af­ter con­tin­u­ous re­search and de­vel­op­ment Pax­man launched their third gen­er­a­tion cap just three years later.

A fourth gen­er­a­tion cool­ing sys­tem is be­ing pre­pared for launch later this year.

“The prin­ci­ples are still the same but the ef­fi­ciency and us­abil­ity are im­prov­ing all the time, as are the aes­thet­ics” said Richard.

“There has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment into the new cap and we’re con­fi­dent it will be well re­ceived by the in­dus­try.”

Pax­man have made sig­nif­i­cant break­throughs into the Asian mar­ket in the last five years and are work­ing closely with the US au­thor­i­ties to se­cure the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion needed to crack the North Amer­i­can mar­ket.

“We have done a lot of work to adapt our prod­ucts for Asia, where head shape and size are in­cred­i­bly dif­fer­ent to Europe,” said Richard, who hopes to gain FDA ap­proval in the third quar­ter of 2016.

“We have in­vested in 3D imag­ing, 3D print­ing and are ex­am­in­ing ways in which can de­velop a ‘ uni­ver­sal’ cap.’

“We have had to make a £ 2m in­vest­ment to ob­tain FDA ap­proval, which is ex­pen­sive and very time­con­sum­ing process,” he said.

“We have clin­i­cal tests tak­ing place at six sites through Texas, Ohio and New Jersey, and will ex­tend into New York and the West Coast in the next cou­ple of months.

Given their con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to im­prove the qual­ity of life for can­cer pa­tients around the world, Sue Pax­man would be very proud of what her fam­ily’s com­pany is achiev­ing.

MOR­GAN DOWLER:

‘ With breast can­cer af­fect­ing one in eight women in the UK at some point in their life­time I was shocked noth­ing had been done sooner.’

BREAK­THROUGH: Pax­man Cool­ers ap­plied the tech­nol­ogy used to cool­ing beers to pro­duc­ing a cool­ing cap that helps to re­duce hair loss dur­ing chemo­ther­apy treat­ment.

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