Women’s club makes hats, scarves, pillows for cancer patients

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Love and hope.
They are what goes into every stitch when members of the Elizabethton Woman’s Club sew hats, scarves and pillows for patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
On Tuesday, club members dropped off 70 hats, 33 pillows and eight scarves at Sycamore Shoals Hospital so nurses can distribute them to patients undergoing surgery or treatment at the hospital.
“This is our third year doing this,” club member Jo Voigt said. “It’s proven very, very rewarding for us.”
The hats, scarves and pillows donated by the club on Tuesday were made using a variety of fabrics, including a warm fleece.
“This year, we are going to continue and make some summer weight hats out of lighter fabric,” Voigt said. “This fleece is very warm ,and it may be too warm for the summer.”
For some club members, the project to support local women battling breast cancer is personal.
“We lost one member out of our club to breast cancer,” member Brenda Holdren said.
Holdren herself is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2008. She underwent treatment and knows first hand how the items crafted by the club can help comfort and encourage others going through the same thing.
“I had support when I had cancer,” Holdren said, adding having support is important to any cancer patient.
While undergoing her treatment, Holdren said a women’s group would come through the treatment center to talk to the women getting treatment and bring them baked goods. One woman in particular sticks out in Holdren’s mind.
“She just sat down and talked with me,” Holdren said, adding that such small gestures can often have a big impact. “I know how even something like this would help a cancer patient — just feeling loved.”
Club member Pat Mosman also has a close personal connection to the project.
“I do it because I lost an aunt to breast cancer,” she said. Also, she said, one of her daughter’s best friends recently battled breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. “She is surviving just fine,” Mosman said.
The hats and scarves can be used by patients undergoing chemotherapy. Some patients going through that particular treatment may lose their hair. Holdren said that during her treatment, she was often cold and those items provided warmth. The pillows can be used for comfort by patients who have had surgery by keeping pressure off their incisions.
Even things as simple as a seat belt in a car can cause discomfort for a patient who has had breast surgery, according to Cherish Stonebraker, nurse manager for in-patient surgery at Sycamore Shoals Hospital. The donation by the Elizabethton Woman’s Club will help the hospital provide for the comfort of their patients.
“What it does is when patients come in and have breast surgery, we are able to give them the comfort items for their stay and once they are home,” Stonebraker said.
Members of the Elizabethton Woman’s Club who helped sew hats, scarves and pillows for the project are Voigt, Holdren, Mosman, Betty Bowers, Nancy Cornwell and Robin Loessberg. The Elizabethton Woman’s Club is a service organization that is part of the General Federation of Womens Clubs of Tennessee.

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