Patients and staff at the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute – Buffalo Hospital were surprised when a family dropped off 25 "Chemo Comfort Kits" to give away to new chemotherapy patients. Kits, made for both male and female patients, were filled with items such as homemade hats, socks, lotions, mints, books and craft kits, all assembled in a Thirty-One® bag.
Ann Truenow, a local Thirty-One consultant, said it only took two days for her local clients to respond and the support was overwhelming. "Each person had their own story of how cancer had touched their lives," she said, "Many of my clients were more than willing to sponsor a bag and each bag includes a note to let patients know who the sponsor was and if the bag was in memory or honor of someone."
For Truenow and her family, cancer had hit close to home. "My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer almost nine years ago. She had her treatment at Buffalo Hospital and she loved it there," said Truenow. "We wanted to give back to the same place that cared for her and made my mother feel right at home."
"Our patients have been overwhelmed when we give them their Chemo Comfort Kit," said Linda Sainsbury, registered nurse at Virginia Piper Cancer Institute – Buffalo Hospital. "Many were so thankful that an anonymous person would be this thoughtful to put together bags like these for a complete stranger."
"We knew we could make an impact by donating these kits," Truenow shares. She got the idea from other Thirty-One consultants, where a percentage of the bag sales go to the Ronald McDonald House.
Staff members at the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute – Buffalo Hospital are truly thankful. "The community helped build our program," said Lorie Stemig, patient care manager of the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute – Buffalo Hospital, "and these wonderful bags are another example of the generosity and caring for our cancer patients from members of the community."