A few years ago Pauline Birse, a textile designer with a manufacturing background, approached the Lavender Touch Charity with an idea. This idea was a result of her dreadful experience of living with cancer and coping with one particular side effect of her illness - drenching night sweats.
In her own words:
"I wake up in the middle of the night absolutely frozen with dripping wet pyjamas stuck to my entire body. When this occurs, probably 5-6 times a night, due to the side effects of my chemotherapy, I was not able to get out of bed, change my pyjamas and the sheets as well. I then ended up lying in soaking wet pyjamas and a soaking wet bed (normally crying) waiting until I dried off.
Personally I feel that nobody can possibly understand the extent of trauma that these side effects can have on peoples' lives. When I said cold sweat people would suggest putting on a jumper! The reality of a cold sweat is constantly frozen neck, constantly frozen bald head, and every half hour it feels like standing in snow naked; added to that your whole body is coated with cold liquid normally running down your back. Water starts appearing on cuffs due to it pouring out of your armpits and flowing down towards your hands. It drips off your head down to your brow and into your eyes because you have no eyebrows. I would never have imagined the trauma of going to bed every night until I experienced it for myself. Doctors, nurses and cancer specialists do agree that the chemotherapy sweats and cold are unavoidable in some people."
Shona, Pauline's Lavender Touch Aromatherapist , had supported Pauline during her illness - treating her through what she described as the lowest point in her life. She wanted to say thank you and give something back, not only to the charity but to other sufferers of the 'night sweats' condition.
For the last three years we have worked closely with Pauline as she has researched and carefully designed a sleepwear product to take to the worldwide market. Her background in textiles and fashion design, along with her experience as a cancer patient and sufferer, has given her the unique understanding to create the 'Drench to Dry' sleepwear for sweats.
We have a clear vision: 'To research, develop and sell a range of products for the purpose of improving the quality of life for people who are diagnosed and living with cancer in the Scottish Borders and further afield'
All this is thanks to Pauline's own vision and determination to create a product to help others.