Why I decided to start donating..
In May 2017, I donated 32 chemo care bags to Anne Arundel Medical Center in hopes that they would bring a little sunshine to someone going through what I had just experienced. On November 30, 2016, at age 34, I was diagnosed with stage 2A, invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer. I spent all of 2017 fighting the good fight; 3 surgeries, chemotherapy, and a 4-day hospital stay due to an infection in my right “breast” incision. I decided during chemotherapy that I wanted to give back in some way to those fighting cancer. I fund-raise, people generously contribute, and every May and December I would drop off between 30-40 chemo care bags.
Often times we find inspiration in our lives as the motivation for doing. It didn't just take cancer touching my family for me to feel compelled to give back. long before I was even married (2014), my aunt Genia, "aunt" (bonus family is the best kind of family) Sally and "aunt" Alice were all touched by cancer. Unfortunately, Aunt Genia and Aunt Sally's metastasized. Aunt Genia's started as lung cancer. During her fight she truly embraced life to the fullest with her family. She lost her fight on March 16, 2011. She is greatly missed by all and will never be forgotten. Aunt Sally's cancer originated as breast cancer. She fought cancer long and hard, you'd never know she was in pain. She became a huge advocate for #Metavivor waging the war on stage IV. I'll never forget her determination but she promised to attend our wedding on March 1, 2014, she made good on that promise, because she is a total bad ass... might I add, she looked absolutely stunning! Let's talk about inspirational... It broke our hearts when she left this world just 9 days later and she will forever be my inspiration to fight advocate for others and give back to those fighting this fight!
This mission, which started out as a good deed, has truly become my passion! Rather than just dropping bags off at AAMC, I directly contact the oncology social workers and vice versa. They let me know when they are in need of bags. I drop off between 15-20 at a time as requested. Therefore, the need for donations is greater. The more bags we make, the more lives we touch. This past December, a young lady received one of the bags donated to AAMC and she began to cry. She said, “this is most likely the only gift I will be receiving during the holidays”. That right there is just one of the many reasons I do what I do. Through this journey of mine I have met and connected with some truly remarkable, STRONG, women and men...WARRIORS! When I think of complaining (which we all do it) I remember their fight...I remember the taken, I remember the families, I remember the struggles, the smiles, the strength, the laughter, the memories.
I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the generosity and kindness of family, friends, companies and often times complete strangers. I have met some of the most giving people through this project who are now friends. I have been truly blessed and I want to pass those same blessings on one bag at a time!
All funds raised cover the purchase of bags, items that have not been donated, shipping supplies and shipping costs for requested chemo bags for a loved ones and fees to apply and maintain non-profit status. I would be most grateful not only for your contribution but the consideration from your friends, family, and Church groups by sharing this opportunity with them. I have included further information below.
You can find more information, pictures, testimonies from recipients and more here: https://www.facebook.com/comfychemocarebags/ Be sure to LIKE and SHARE my page with friends and family who may be interested in contributing to my project.
Follow me on Instagram @chemocarebagproject and on Twitter @chemocarebags as well.
Ways to contribute
Paypal Money Pool for bags: bit.ly/chemobagdonation
Amazon wish list http://a.co/fwTX3MO (items will be shipped directly to me unless otherwise designated) - Please add a gift receipt with your name so I know who to thank!
Contact me with questions, email@example.com
Items to consider: (men & women) I try my best to provide natural/organic products when possible
My Warrior Wall...
My girl Chawnte'.. we met at Living Beyond Breast Cancer's Young Women's Advocacy Training in Philly. I remember standing by her and her saying "Shan, I knew I liked you" after I said I was from P.G. County. lol. She said, "you're funny as hell." She fought Triple Negative Breast Cancer as an early diagnosis and then MBC or Metastatic Breast Cancer with everything she had. She advocated, used her voice, and shouted it front the roof tops, "Stage IV Needs MORE!" We must do better, we cannot lose anymore warriors to this disease! Chawnte' passed away on November 12, 2020. Please consider making a donation to Metavivor for MBC research and support. Click on Chawnte's picture to access her Metavivor page!
10th Class is the BEST class!!! Every single woman in this picture has/is fighting cancer. From early stage to stage IV, lumpectomies, single mastectomies, radical double mastectomies, hysterectomies and all. We have been battered and beaten, poked and pradded but we stand here, proudly, learning and advocating for all women and men facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Warriors, fighters, badass women! We are a force to be reckoned with. I am a better person for knowing them! #SisterhoodoftheTravelingFoobs #10thClassisTheBESTClass Rest easy Chawnte' WE love you!
Stephanie Easter's husband and mine both work for PGPD. When I heard of Stephanie's cancer returning, I sent her a chemo care bag. I wanted her to know she had others thinking of her. We finally met in person at an Ulman, Where Young Adults meet gathering. Though I didn't get much time getting to know you, I see through your family and friends what an incredible woman you are. Cancer is such an unfair and unforgiving disease. She fought her battle so hard and she was so exhausted that God knew it was time for her to rest. I will continue to pray for her, Jeremy, their beautiful little girls and all whose lives she touched. Rest easy my friend.
Dianne - one of the strongest fighters & MBC advocates I know. You were there for me during my diagnosis and I am so thankful for you. You continue to inspire me every single day!. You are missed and loved. Never forgotten #Metavivor "get through this crazy, beautiful thing we call life you have to smile! Even when you are having a bad day smile even if it is just for a few seconds I bet it will make you feel a little happier!" - Dianne
Chrissy - Ovarian Cancer Warrior - I was so blessed you reached out to me with our cancer connection. I enjoyed getting to know you but I am mad you had to leave me so soon. You were a bright light in this world. "I can share with everyone that with any struggle, try not to focus on how far you have to go, but reflect on how far you've come. Life isn't fair, but you have to make the best of it. Accept your wrong doings and grow from them. Cut the negativity, life's too short. It can always be worse. Most importantly, surround yourselves with the ones that care about you. " - Chrissy #ChrissyBobbStrong #OvarianCancerWarrior