17 | MAR | 2019
Photo: Facebook.com/zoet.oncologico/

Mexican university student creates shampoo for cancer patients

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Perla decided to take matters into her own hands and create her own line of organic shampoo for cancer patients after searching for such products in Mexico with no luck.

After being diagnosed with leukemia and experiencing firsthand the effects of chemotherapy at the young age of 17, Perla del Rocío González Saavedra felt the need to create a special shampoo for patients undergoing cancer treatment.

Perla, who is currently in her eighth semester towards obtaining a degree in Nutritional Sciences at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas, said that despite not having the most positive diagnosis, she decided to continue with her life and studies.

The young student, who's now 21, remembers being in her last year in high school when she was diagnosed with leukemia.

In an interview with Notimex, she said that she receives all of her treatments, including chemotherapy, at the University Hospital.

“During the early stages of my illness, I had a really bad experience with the chemo. I ended up with a dislocated jaw, I lost over 20 pounds due to constant vomiting and nausea, and I lost my hair,” she said.

She shared with Notimex that her physicians told her to avoid using any personal care, hygienic or cosmetic products such as soaps, shampoos, lotions or perfume that contained any chemicals.

“I began looking for products that were all natural and that I could use while undergoing treatment, but everything that I found was either very expensive or not sold in Mexico, so I decided to do research,” she said.

This led to Perla discovering that these types of products were basically nonexistent in Mexico, so she started researching natural plants with medicinal properties instead.

“My mom and I discovered several plants with medicinal properties, and what we did is mix them to create a shampoo. So, in a way, I was the first patient to test the product, especially since I had a hard time with wigs and preferred to use turbans,” she continued.

After seeing great results, Perla decided to share her formula with other patients who received treatment at the Anti-Cancer Alliance Foundation (Fundación Alianza Anti cancer) in Monterrey, Nuevo León.

“The truth is that it's really hard for someone to lose their hair, especially for us who were still adolescents. It really affected us.”

Perla was encouraged to present her shampoo, which she calls Zoet, during an annual event on innovation held at the Reynosa Aztlán Multidisciplinary Academic Unit.

Zoet placed second place, which allowed her to complete at the regional level, where she went on to win first place. After winning the regional level, her product took her all the way to the state competition and finally nationals, where she went on to win a patent for her product.

“I wanted for people to get to know our product, and for cancer patients to know that they're not alone.”

Perla said she decided to call her product Zoet in memory of a young 5-year-old girl who died of cancer.

“Zoet was my friend. She was very happy and positive despite battling cancer at such a young age. She dressed like a princess and she wanted to be a famous model,” said Perla.

For more information on the shampoo, visit Zoet's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/zoet.oncologico/

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