Two clinical technologists, who work in the Mould Room at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre (BWOSCC), are supporting children, teenagers, and even adults, about to undergo radiotherapy treatment by transforming them into their favourite superhero or character.
Fiona McCulloch and Hilary Sturrock have been using water-based acrylic paint to turn radiotherapy masks into something that children and young people feel more comfortable with during treatment.
The girls have creating a range of characters from emojis to batman and many more for use during radiotherapy to the brain, head or neck when a made-to-measure radiotherapy mask is worn by patients to help keep their head still.
This can be an extremely diffucult time, especially for young children as they are asked to lie on a treatment table and the mask is gently placed over their head and neck and fixed to the table.
By having something the children can relate to which is brightly coloured and a design that they have chosen, this can help put them at ease for their treatment.
The girls, who are both former art students at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee are delighted with the positive impact the designs are having and as well as masks they are using the same method to develop devices for other part of the body like arms and legs.
Fiona said: “Radiotherapy treatment wearing one of these masks can understandably be a very daunting experience for children, and can often feel claustrophobic.
“It’s fantastic to see the positive impact the designs are having, and it’s such a pleasure working with patients and creating their ideas and designs.
“We have even had a couple of adults ask us to create something for them.”
Hilary said: “I feel grateful to have the opportunity to put my previous study toward such a worthwhile and positive experience for these young patients.
“Although some design requests can start off as a challenge to envision, we have had such great feedback.
“The radiographers treating these patients have commented on the positive impact a personalised mask or device makes to the child’s experience.”
Both Fiona and Hilary have been shortlisted for one of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s coveted Chairman Awards for their remarkable work.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]
Pic: Hilary with some of the magnificent masks they have designed