Handmade Bracelets a Labor of Love for Cancer Patients
July 07, 2017
The road through cancer treatment can test even the toughest of spirits. A local organization is handcrafting and donating beaded bracelets to the courageous women who have reached the finish line at Renown Infusion Services.
After finishing her sixth and final cycle of chemotherapy at Renown Infusion Services, Joan Jackson told her nurse, Daun Russell, RN, she was tired. Russell returned with a box and opened it -- as she does for all cancer patients completing treatment -- and said, “pick one.”
What Jackson was selecting was a beautiful, handmade bracelet crafted and donated by the local Soroptimist organization. Jackson picked a purple bracelet with a tag that read, "Congratulations on completing your treatment. Imagine what you can do now."
“Picking the bracelet was such a special thing to mark my last day of chemo,” Jackson says. "Their gesture impacted me for the good after going through so much.”
The women behind the bracelets
Bev Perkins, a member of the Soroptimist International of Truckee Meadows, says the bracelet project began in 2009 as a way of celebrating those who completed cancer treatment.
She wanted the project to be hands-on, so she involved the club members by organizing a small budget and asking others to donate jewelry. The group comes together each year to make the bracelets. Perkins disassembles the donated jewelry, adding newly purchased beads to make kits for the bracelets. The volunteers also add a metal tag inscribed with an inspiring word, like “believe,” “hope” or “love.”
“It’s a labor of love for us,” says Kay Dumhan, group treasurer. “It’s to show empowerment and to help these women know there are people who are encouraged by them.” “When bracelets are donated there is usually quite a bit of feedback on how much it’s appreciated,” Dumhan says. “We never want to run out so we make sure we have a supply there. We’ve had cancer survivors as members and that makes it all the more personal.”