SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As Breast Cancer Awareness Month nears its end, an important fundraiser in the fight against all forms of cancer is just getting started.
Amber Reed is the daughter of a cancer survivor and founder of Cancer Comfort Collection. She found inspiration to start the project five years ago during her mom’s inpatient stay at the Avera Cancer Institute.
“There was a volunteer at the hospital that wheeled her into her room and this volunteer never forgot my mom. She had come back shortly after my mom had said ‘if I can’t go home, I want to go home’ and she brought her a comfort item and said ‘I was thinking of you and I wanted to bring this to you’ and my mom just perked up,” Cancer Comfort Collection Founder Amber Reed said.
That scarf proved to be just what the doctor ordered and motivated Reed to give back.
“This is what I can do to help. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a tech, I’m not a nurse, I can’t help you with what’s going on physically, but I can help you mentally,” Reed said.
Cancer Comfort Collection accepts donations ranging from soft blankets and fuzzy socks to coloring books and crayons. The items are then given to cancer patients to help fight the physical and mental battle.
“These comfort packages provide the patient with that hope and the ability to know that there are so many people praying and caring for them,” Avera Clinical Oncology Nurse Educator Lola Twedt said.
Lola Twedt is a Clinical Oncology Nurse Educator and says the program also encourages staff.
“For them to see those happy tears and the thank you that the patients and the families give truly lifts the nurse,” Twedt said.
Nurses have now handed out more than 750 care packages, making a difference one patient at a time.
“My mom made it out of the hospital and I would like to do for people that this had done for her,” Reed said.
They’re collecting items at the Avera McKennan Fitness Center on Southeastern Avenue until November 19th.
New items to donate:
Soft, Fuzzy Socks
Adult Coloring Books