Our chemo care package is the hug they need during a time in which we can't hug. It's the mental strength they need to get them out of the bed in the morning - a symbol of love, care and support. Sometimes the little things can mean everything.
At just 32 years old, Sharon was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Her diagnosis was followed by several surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and then reconstruction. When her doctor asked if she’d like to know the survival rate for her particular cancer, she politely declined the offer and was never tempted by curiosity to look it up herself. That’s Sharon; unlike any person you’d ever meet, but the type of person you want in your life – optimistic, inspiring, encouraging, giving, full-of-love and so incredibly strong.
Throughout her entire cancer journey, Sharon didn’t allow anything to change who she was at her core. Instead, she accepted the fact that changes to the course of her life were inevitable and decided to make lemonade out of lemons. Always one for reflection, she’d find herself lingering on her personal chemo experience and how it could have been better – not just for her, but for others too. She was mindful to the fact that there are so many “if factors” that are out of anyone’s control but was also aware of a few “if factors” that were within our control – that’s when she began juicing those lemons.
Sharon’s idea for the pax originated one morning during a momentary thought and prayer for a woman in her community that was beginning chemotherapy later that day. Sharon didn’t know this woman at the time but could certainly empathize with what she was going through, so she spoke with God and simply said that she wished she knew what to do to help her. Sharon said she heard Him say, “You do know what to do.” In a flash Sharon thought to herself, “I do know what to do”. Without a hesitation in the world, she gathered up her toddler, got in the car and set off on her search for a pack to fill with all of the little things she knew would be helpful for this woman’s first day of treatment. Sharon then took the bag to the oncology clinic and stood at the reception desk to hand write a note that included all of the items in the pack and how they’d be of help. She handed the bag off to the receptionist and asked if she’d give the bag to Amy, the woman who was receiving her first chemotherapy treatment. That day and this little tote (show the original tote) marked the beginning of the backpack project. After hearing about the impact that Sharon's small act of kindness had on the community, her good friend Lucy convinced her into growing it into something bigger and the two joined forces to create Care Pax & Co .
Since 2013, the team has literally sent thousands of support systems to women all across the US. However, in February 2019, Sharon tragically passed away in a car accident. This unexpected loss of our co-founder put an abrupt pause on the mission as we took some time to heal our hearts. With a few signs from Sharon and with the COVID-19 pandemic, Lucy has decided to continue moving forward with the chemo care packages. It remains our goal to have communities everywhere partner with us to rally support to the women of their areas so that Sharon’s vision will be fulfilled.
By hitting our goal of $18,000.00, we're able to donate over 250 chemo care packages to women who need them right now. With this money, we're able to product more packages and improve our digital outreach so that we can reach women who need a hug everywhere!
Will you help us reach this goal? For Sharon. For a loved-one who has undergone or undergoing chemotherapy.
We thank you with all of the sincerity in the world.
Visit our website here .
- Paula Barlow
- Donna Couch
- Bart Baldwin
- Lana Greer
Organizer and beneficiary
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