The mission of Hair & Hope is to not only meet the tangible financial need of providing cold caps to cancer patients going through chemotherapy but also to provide a source of encouragement, support and mentorship to the patients we are walking alongside as they begin their treatment journey.
In the summer of 2020, Courtney Carlstrom, Hair & Hope’s Founder, was a healthy 33-year-old elementary school teacher with a newborn and a toddler when she first felt a lump in her left breast. Since she had no family history of breast cancer, she was certain the lump was nothing serious but called her doctor for reassurance when it did not go away after a few weeks.
Courtney and her doctor were shocked to learn, after many rounds of tests, that she had Stage 2 breast cancer. Two years later, after six rounds of chemo, a double mastectomy, and 27 rounds of radiation, Courtney received the wonderful news that she was cancer free!
Courtney felt so lucky to have had a team of doctors who suggested cold capping during chemotherapy to prevent hair loss during her treatment. For Courtney, keeping her hair during her treatment allowed her to feel like herself as much as possible and gave her hope and control when so many other things in her life were out of her control.
The amount of support she received from her care team during my treatment was amazing. Even though she was not allowed to have any family or friends with her in the hospital, she never felt alone. The nurses, doctors and staff were always there to keep her company and make sure she felt supported.
Courtney’s doctors and nurses were the true inspiration to give back and start Hair & Hope as with her desire to help others going through chemotherapy keep their hair and regain a sense of control, just as she was able to.
Since its founding in 2022, Hair & Hope has been able to provide cold caps to 20+ patients.