SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Breast cancer patients at Sanford Health are receiving more than just medical care throughout their cancer journey.
Donna Dwire is a breast cancer navigator at Sanford Health.
Her role includes meeting with breast cancer patients and offering support throughout their cancer diagnosis.
“Education is a big part of it. Emotional support is also, because you feel like you’re out all by yourself and alone when you’re diagnosed with breast cancer,” Dwire said.
In addition to offering emotional support, Sanford’s Navigation office also offers patients who are going through chemo or getting a mastectomy a physical item of support- tie blankets.
“As we kind of get to know the patients a little more, we sometimes can kind of tell from their personality or maybe they’d like that one, or maybe something a little more subtle would do,” Dwire said.
“I chose the breast cancer material with the ribbons. And I started cutting it this morning and so I need to finish cutting it,” Boelman said.
Pat Boelman has been a volunteer for the blanket program for about 5 years.
“I had a sister-in-law who passed away from breast cancer and I’ve got a couple other friends that have had it and have survived and that’s, that’s always a good thing. And I just, I have a heart for missions,” Pat Boelman said.
Among the many volunteers making the blankets, most are either people who have been touched by cancer, or are breast cancer survivors themselves.
“I remember what I went through it 11 years ago. It was the navigator is my lifeline and that blanket was just a constant reminder in my home that now, okay, I have someone to call and I can feel the, the divine presence of those prayers. And you feel wrapped up in love,” Dwire said.
And each knot being tied is full of meaning and prayers.
“I ran my hands over those blankets, as the patients would say, and I could just feel in those knots power that I needed from survivors before me or people that have dealt with it as well,” Dwire said.
If you’re interested in donating or volunteering at the Edith Sanford Breast Center, click here.