Last week, Tammy (Katie’s mom) and I dropped off the remaining Katie Kits from our fundraising efforts last fall, enough for 17 kits. The clinic’s supply was running low, so got them 5 Katie Kits a few weeks ago, and then when Tammy got back in town, together we dropped off 11 more. I think it helps in our grieving to continue Katie’s vision as I know she would love to know at so far 47 women will have been helped by this all.
The last one of this batch of 17 kits (included in our 47) I am sending to my step mom, Joyce, who was just diagnosed with breast cancer and will be undergoing radiation treatment. But in her kindness and sense of paying it forward, she sent me a check for it, so that starts off our next fundraising phase. Thankfully her breast cancer was caught early on a mammogram, and her oncologist is confident that she can be cured with treatment.
When Tammy and I dropped off the last of the kits at the clinic, one of the managers, Molli, told us a c0uple times how much the patients really appreciate getting Katie Kits on the first day of their treatment. Previous times the nurses have told us the same thing! This is often a very scary experience and we’ve heard from patients before that getting a Katie Kit was like “getting a hug.” As the Katie Kits items are more feminine and women often have more serious radiation treatment, the clinic staff thought that women would more appreciate the kits, though if a man asks about it they are free to give them out to men as well. For her stage 3 breast cancer, Katie had her whole chest area irradiated, and used the same items she picked out for Katie Kits that she found useful herself.
At the clinic, Molli also asked the techs about the 3 iPod Nanos that we donated for both treatment rooms and the simulation room, and she said they are being used by both men and women. We loaded the iPods with 6 different playlists created by one of Katie’s close friends. In each Katie Kit is a set of headphones for use with the onsite iPods, and men can bring their own headphones as well to listen to the playlists.
So with the total of 47 Katie Kits we have delivered so far and the 3 iPod Nanos, Katie’s vision of helping directly those undergoing treatment is living on in spades. Katie’s father Chuck, who passed about a year before Katie, also had input early on in helping Katie with this project. It is the kindness in both of their hearts that we fondly remember, as have you all with your donations to this project and your purchases of the merchandise with Katie’s artwork.
With my Joyce’s donation for the kit I sent to her, we have the beginnings of our next batch of Katie Kits to deliver. We are actually in the early stages of considering becoming a non-profit so we can extend Katie’s vision into the future. Stay tuned! If you’d like to donate or purchase cool goods to support this, details can be found on the Katie Kit page, or the links in the right side bar.
Deep thanks, as always, to those of you who donated and purchased in Chuck’s memory, in Katie’s memory, and last fall for the 143 mile, 2-day bike ride that I did. You all have made Katie and Chuck’s vision possible!
Love to you all,
Ashby and team Katie K
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