Breast cancer survivors try to bag chemotherapy, and they help patients
"So they can pull the blanket right out of the bag, and right on to their laps," said Teresa Koop, as she helped fill 20 bags that will go to friends she does not know, but they do share a common bond.
Koop is a two-time breast cancer survivor. The bags are for those undergoing chemotherapy.
"We all want to do something, we just don't know what, or how," said Koop.
Kayla Stalmarck fills the bags with items to ease the side effects of chemo, including junior mints.
"Chemo tends to leave a bad taste in your mouth, so it's nice to have them in there. Super comfy socks because as many people don't know, your feet do not feel good during chemo," said Stalmarck.
She received the very first chemo care bag two years ago. Koop came up with it just days after she underwent a double mastectomy, and Stalmarck began her chemo treatments.
"As a way to just get out of myself; get back into caring for others, because it's an isolating disease sometimes," said Koop.
It's still emotional for Stalmarck, despite being one-year cancer free.
"Just that somebody thinks about you, and wants you to be comfortable during a time that is less than comfortable most of the time," Stalmarck said.
This is the third year of the bags. Koop put together five in the first year, 17 last year. She and Stalmarck planned to do 20 this year, but after an appearance last week on KTVA 11's Daybreak, they now have 45 bags to fill.
"It's not the cancer, it's not even gathering the stuff for the bags, it's we have as individuals, a chance to give some care. If we can do a little bit of caring every day, we can actually change the world. I know that sounds cheesy, but it changes everything for one person," said Koop.
"This is one of the blankets that will go into the bags," said Stalmarck, while she helped fill the bags, along with something else, encouragement.
"A little note here, we put this in the bag, it says: 'You can do this from somebody who knows,'" Stalmarck said.
She and Teresa Koop just want to give cancer patients one less thing to worry about when they undergo chemotherapy.
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