Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is hugely grateful to a patient’s family for raising an astounding amount of money that will benefit cancer patients who wish to try to reduce or prevent hair loss ahead of their chemotherapy treatment. Christine Ball was a patient at Darent Valley Hospital, who sadly lost her nine-year battle with cancer on 13 th February 2020. On Saturday 19th March 2022, a charity ball was held in her memory. The ball was organised by Christine’s husband, John, who wanted to raise money for Darent Valley Hospital’s Chemotherapy Suite, (Pine Therapy Unit), to purchase a Paxman Cold Cap Machine – innovative scalp cooling technology that had helped Christine immensely ahead of her chemotherapy. £11,000 was raised and very generously donated to the Trust so that they can help patients in Christine’s honour. John Ball told his wife’s story to the Valley Hospital Charity ’s Head of Fundraising: “On March 21st, 2021, my wife Christine would have celebrated her 60th birthday and although a birthday and milestone she never wanted to talk about (or to arrive) she came to terms with the fast- approaching milestone and we began making plans and began looking forward to a long and happy retirement together and spending loads of time with our boys, our girls, and our grandchildren. Our plans changed when Chris was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. We did not know much about cancer, we did not know exactly what it would mean or where it would take us but when I went with Chris to attend her first oncologist appointment and have that first real discussion around what her cancer treatment would involve, she was told that she would lose her hair. Those who knew Chris, saw how brave she was and how her strength became a strength to us all, also knew that she always wanted to look her best. Chris finally accepted the inevitable and she bravely prepared to attend the first stage of six chemotherapy treatments. But before her first treatment, she read of a procedure that may help her keep her hair. That procedure was scalp cooling. She read that scalp cooling was proven to be an effective way of combating hair loss and could result in a high level of retention or completely preserve the hair. For Chris this meant an opportunity to regain some self-control, maintain her looks, and have a more positive attitude towards her treatment. Chris asked about the procedure and decided to use scalp cooling throughout her treatment. Chris never lost her hair. Whilst in the Pine Therapy Unit, at Darent Valley, we would speak about the scalp cooling process and how, when in remission, we would look to raise awareness and help raise funds to purchase scalp cooling machines for others. She thought that her experience would provide comfort and give confidence to others in undergoing the procedure. 25/04/2022 Sadly, Chris lost her brave fight against Cancer and passed away on 13th February 2020, aged 58 and she can no longer do this. But a family, and with Chris in our hearts, we wanted to continue this in her memory. As 2021/22 would have been Christine’s 60th year, we decided to hold a series of fund-raising events to raise awareness and money to purchase a double scalp cooling machine for use in the Pine Therapy Unit at Darent Valley. In 12-months, we created a JustGiving page, and through our various fundraising events and much more besides, we raised £11,000 enough to purchase a double Paxman Cold Cap Machine, with a configuration of caps and all accessories of which will be donated to the Darent Valley Hospital, Pine Therapy Unit, in memory of Chris. Our fundraising events included a 370-mile virtual bike ride to Maryport in Cumbria, where Chris was born, a cupcake sale, a charity day, head shave event, sponsored runs and finishing with a Charity Ball. We could not have done this without people being so kind and generous, with both their donations and time, those who helped in making the events such a success and those who helped organise and attend them – we will never be able to thank them enough. We knew that this is something that Chris would have liked, as using scalp cooling became just another part of her treatment. The fundraising year was such a success we managed to raise extra money that will be donated to Ellenor, who looked after Chris so well. John, John, Danny, Charlotte, Vicky, Hudson, and Lyla x” Donations are tremendously important and are greatly appreciated by Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, as in the last 5 years, £2 million has been raised through Valley Hospital Charity to support the work of the Trust. This means that despite NHS budgets tightening, the Charity has been able to help meet the requests of staff and patients, to purchase new equipment, support projects and develop services, that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. The Trust and Valley Hospital Charity would like to say thank you once again to John and his family whose generosity and determination will greatly help patients with cancer.