Updated: Feb 26
After many years of having a ban on joining new members to the much needed support group for women struggling to cope with permanent hair loss due to chemotherapy drugs Taxotere/Docetaxel, we are happy and relieved to announce the reopening to new members!
There is a slight difference in as much as we have moved office, virtually.
SUPPORT GROUP HISTORY
In 2007 our support group was formed. Women desperate for peer support sought others, that didn't exist according to Sanofi, in the same unheard of situation. That situation was this; Taxotere produced by pharmaceutical giants Sanofi was given the green light to be used on early stage breast cancer sufferers. It had previously only been used on ladies with metastatic breast cancer, often referred to as MBC.
It soon became clear some women with early stage BC were not re-growing their hair after receiving Taxotere as part of their chemotherapy regimen.
Despite Sanofi's insistence that this problem didn't exist, these women didn't just appear out of thin air, they easily found each other and straight away formed a support group. It was aptly named Taxotears.
Ladies from all over the globe joined, looking not only for support but for answers too. For many if not most, it became a life-saver! It was an escape from 'wear a wig' or 'be thankful you're alive'. The group thrived.
We had our ups and downs over the years, but we gained strength through it all. We've laughed, cried and made fun of ourselves however the underlying cause of our group has never been far away from the surface.
Sadly we have lost some members along the way, each one a painful reminder of what common cause brought us to this point.
Then one day it finally happened! Litigation in the form of a MDL, multi district litigation, kicked off against Sanofi in the USA. We were thrilled but apprehensive. Then an unthinkable and unbelievable thing happened. The ugly law firm Shook, Hard and Bacon, who were hired by Sanofi to destroy these women's lives yet again, took it upon themselves to take legal action against Google forcing them into giving Shook, Hardy Bacon access to our support group. They were on a fishing expedition to find something in our private conversations to use against plaintiffs that were involved in the litigation, currently still ongoing in the USA.
Bear in mind that many support group members were not living in the USA. This action caused a halt to letting new members join. How could we allow depressed, angry and desperate women into the group knowing that while they are pouring their heart out to fellow sufferers, or even talking about the health of their vaginas, there are Shook, Hardy and Bacon hidden in the background reading their conversations. This voyeur-like behaviour killed the group.
FAST FORWARD MANY YEARS
Many years have gone by and the litigation rolls on and on, all the time preventing women getting the comfort they need. Something had to give, it just wasn't fair to all the ladies not involved in the lawsuit.
In January, we received several emails from ladies who wanted to join the group. It was heart-breaking to deny them access.
WHAT'S NEW YOU ASK?
We are thrilled to announce, after many stagnant years we've formed a new group, away from the lawyers eyes. The members of old are happily reunited in their new secure home and the comradery is not only inspiring but heart-warming. It brings a tear to my eyes just writing about it.
We had to take the decision not to allow members access that are plaintiffs in the ongoing litigation, but when the settlement is finally reached between both sides, those members will be back, I'm sure. They fully understand the reasoning behind this necessary decision.
Our doors are now open for new members, there's almost 20 years of experience waiting to welcome and help new members adjust to their new disfigured life, the one they were never warned about.