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Our Founder's story (Sharon Grammer)
I remember so well my first day of Chemo - December 19, 2008.  I was scared.  I was nervous.  I had no clue what to expect.  My Mom was with me, but I'd never felt so alone in my life.  It was my vein that they were going to be sticking that needle into, and my body that was going to be infused with medications whose names I couldn't even pronounce.  I was  grateful to have the treatment option, and obviously chose to do it, but that didn't remove the fear.

Throughout my treatment I prayed and thought a lot about how God could use this situation to bless others.  Fighting Cancer, Inc. and specifically The Sunshine Box Project are His answers.  Mary Maust, my very good friend and my daughter's grandmother, sent me a Sunshine Box after my surgery.  I opened the box, and inside of it were about a dozen wrapped gifts from her and from other family members and friends in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia - my former "stomping grounds."  The instructions were that I was to open one gift a day.  Much to my surprise, I got a second Sunshine Box from former coworkers at Stock and Leader in York, Pennsylvania.  How blessed am I to have such awesome family and friends!!!  The instructions in their box were that I was to open one gift each time I needed a little bit of sunshine in my life.  I can't tell you how much these gifts meant to me!  The love I felt was - and is -  indescribable.

So ... while I was praying about what I could do to pass it forward, the answer jumped into my brain one day ... prepare a Sunshine Box for new chemo patients, delivered to them right there in the chemo lab on that first day.  I have obtained permission from the Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center's Outpatient Oncology Infusion Lab in Charlotte, North Carolina, to do just that!!  Everyone I've told about the idea is just about as excited as I am!  And so many have already begun working on accumulating and making items for the boxes.  We're not talking big-budget things ... just something to remind them each day that someone cared enough to do this for them. There is a list below of suggested items if you'd like to donate some things, but I want to specifically mention three items:

Afghan/Quilt - the infusion lab is chilly!  More so when you're nervous, I think.  How cool would it be if we could give them a lovingly handmade quilt or afghan to wrap them in warmth and love?   A 50-inch by 60-inch or 70-inch 'throw' size is ideal.  If you'd like to donate a non-handmade new blanket, fleece, or "throw," that's great, too!

Chemo caps - bald heads get cold!  I couldn't believe how cold!  Knit, crochet, and fleece hats really help. 
 
Scarf Hats - this is the only term I can think of to describe another hat that my sister developed a pattern for.  It's a knit hat that covers the bald head, with an attached scarf/kerchief.  Really nice!  Several ladies I ran into said they'd love to have a hat that covered their head but had some style to it.

Please remember ... men have chemo too!  So in making the afghans, quilts, caps, etc., please consider making some with "masculine" colors.

Also ... please do not wrap your donations.  We need to know what we are putting in the boxes as we assemble them.  Thanks!!  Cool

Let your imagination be your guide! Wink  What would you like?

Here are some suggestions - but you're not, limited to these:
Journals
Crossword and other puzzle books
Teacup / Mug
Individually wrapped tea bags, coffee, hot chocolate
Stationery
Picture Frames
Candles - small jar or votive
Mints, gum, hard candy (chemo can leave an awful taste in the mouth)
Mascara
Mouisturizer - small, 4 oz. or smaller
Nail polish, files, clippers
Keychains
Socks - Fuzzy cute for women; sport or dress for men 
Hand sanitizer - small, 4 oz or smaller
Bubble Bath - small, 4 oz or smaller
Jewelry
Handmade items
Hand-held games
Silk pillowcases - feel good on bald heads!
Flannel pillowcases - same reason!
Neck pillows for chemo days
   (many hours reclining in chair)
Knit/Crocheted/fleece hats
Memo pads/stationery
Tissues (small packs)
Pill box - multi-day
Soft-bristle toothbrushes / sensitive toothpaste
Blank greeting cards (for us to give to them with the gifts)
Wrapping paper, gift bags, bows, tissue paper, etc. (It takes about 1.5 rolls of paper to wrap the gifts for each Sunshine Box)



Donations can be mailed to:
Fighting Cancer, Inc. 
c/o Sharon Grammer
6102 Zion Church Road
Concord, NC 28025 

If you are in the Charlotte, NC, area, I would be happy to pick up any items.  Just email or call to arrange time and place.

There's a really nice journal that can be found at:  http://www.headcovers.com/11751/"courage-every-day"-journal/



Here's a pic of the contents of our first Sunshine Box (and one of me delivering it)

1stSunshineBox.JPG
1stSunshineBox.JPG

Bringing a ray of sunshine, one fighter at a time!!!   Cool