AN Oxfordshire nurse who was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago has helped raise £20,000 to pay for new hospital equipment.

Dayle Kinch inspired family and friends to fundraise the staggering amount which has funded two cooling caps for the Brodey Cancer Centre at the Horton General Hospital, where she herself has received care since her diagnosis.

The caps will help prevent hair loss in those undergoing chemotherapy.

Since she was diagnosed in 2014 the 57-year-old has undergone surgery and many rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and has been looked after at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and the Brodey Cancer Centre at the Horton.

Mrs Kinch, who began working for the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 30 years ago, said she decided to raise the money to help other patients after having seen the effect hair loss can have on patients as a nurse and having been through the experience herself.

She said: “Having worked in the hospitals I’ve always been very aware how upset many patients get when they lose their hair, and it was something I also really worried about.

“I think it’s because the hair loss – particularly of eyebrows and eyelashes – marks you out so clearly as a cancer patient, which means people immediately start treating you differently.

“It might seem trivial when you’re facing all the other fears that come with cancer – but it’s not - it’s about losing your identity really, being a blank face that you don’t recognise anymore.”

She added: “I am so thrilled that we’ve raised enough money for two cooling caps – they are something tangible and practical that will benefit hundreds of local people in the years to come.”

The mother-of-three, who works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Horton, along with a group of dedicated fundraisers, organised car boot sales, quiz nights and charity evenings to help reach the target, while a team of 28 friends and family took the fundraising to new heights by completing the Three Peaks Challenge.

“The support and generosity I’ve had from my parents, my family, friends and the local community has been fantastic,” she said.

“It’s hard to put into words what it means but I am so incredibly grateful for what they’ve all done and so proud of what we’ve achieved. Knowing they were doing it for me has meant the world.”

Sister for the Brodey Cancer Centre, Lisa Aston, said: “This incredible support has really overwhelmed the whole team at the Brodey Centre.

“It means such a lot to us all.”

She added: “The cooling caps can help many people avoid the distressing hair loss that comes with some cancer treatment and we know this really means a lot to our patients.”

To support Mrs Kinch’s fundraising efforts for the Brodey Centre visit or contact Horton General Hospital Charity on 01865 743444.