CAPS for the Cure Event to Benefit Cold Cap Therapy at OhioHealth
When Mehek Cooke’s late sister-in-law, Elin, was battling cancer, she never wanted to look sick in front of her young daughter. The hair loss that came with chemotherapy made that impossible.
Today, specialized “Cold Caps” can minimize hair loss during treatment, giving patients a sense of normalcy and control and allowing them to keep their diagnosis confidential if they choose. “It allows them to tell their stories their way,” says Cooke, a local attorney who helps raise awareness and funds through a Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery (CAPS).
non-profit, The CAPS Foundation.
The CAPS Foundation’s signature fundraiser, CAPS for the CURE, raises money to assist women with cold cap treatments; eyebrow microblading to replicate the natural look of eyebrows; skin care treatments and other measures to help women regain a sense of self. NBC4 anchor Colleen Marshall will emcee this year’s event Oct. 14 at The Exchange at Bridge Park in Dublin.
CAPS launched the event in its office parking lot 11 years ago to raise funds for breast cancer research and breakthrough innovations, such as the cold cap therapy program at OhioHealth.
Cold cap therapy uses specialized caps with cooling gel worn before, during and after chemotherapy treatments. By cooling hair follicles on the scalp, the cap causes them to go into hibernation and prevents chemotherapy agents from penetrating their roots.
Cold cap therapy can cost over $3,000 and is not covered by most insurance. The OhioHealth Foundation subsidizes the cost to make it more readily available, says Mark Mangia, senior advisor for philanthropy. A former capping patient came to OhioHealth and the foundation advocating for a formal program after navigating the difficult process of cold capping, which involves dry ice and special techniques to wrap the head.
The decision to support the cold cap program was an easy one, Mangia says. “It aligns so beautifully with our cardinal value, to honor the dignity and worth of each person.” OhioHealth partners with Over My Head Boutique and London-based Penguin Cold Caps to provide the service. “It can make a world of difference to someone going through cancer.”
After Elin died in 2014, Cooke, searched for the best way to honor her sister-in-law’s life. The work being done by the CAPS Foundation “really hit home. I remember Elin sharing that she felt like she was losing a bit of herself when she lost her hair. I joined the CAPS board … so no woman feels like she is losing herself.”