Piecemakers' gifts to cancer patients

A COOMA GROUP calling themselves the Wednesday piecemakers have been busy making special gifts for people they don't know.

The group presented 16 colourful 'care bags' to cancer / breast care nurse Bronnie Taylor on Thursday.

Marnie Stewart from the Fabric Salon and member of the group said the 'care bags' contained a number of items to make women who have undergone breast surgery more comfortable in their recovery.

"They contain three different types of cushions and three different types of bags," Mrs Stewart said.

The bags are all different, in bright and cheerful colours and contain a bag to take x-rays, a bag to carry the drainage bag in and an outer bag to fit everything in.

There are a number of cushions of different shapes and sized that help to take pressure off different parts of the body, particularly under the arm to make the patient more comfortable.

Bronnie Taylor said she was thrilled with the bags.

"I can't tell you how much these bags mean to people," Mrs Taylor said.

"The cushion that goes under the arm takes the pressure off, it is fabulous.

"They put it under their arm and are so much more comfortable straight away .

"One of the loveliest things is the drainage bag. It hides the fluid and makes it non-clinical.

"Everyone comes back to me and asks me to thank the ladies who made them.

"It really reflects our community. This group of women don't know these people, it is amazing."

Marnie Stewart said the idea for the 'care bags' came from Jane Redmond, the hospital's first cancer nurse.

"Jane got the idea from the OTIS Foundation* and asked the group if they could make them for women recovering from breast cancer surgery," Mrs Stewart said.

"There are about 20 women in the group and we meet every Wednesday to sew the care bags and also blankets for autistic children."

In 2011 it is estimated that 14,300 women and men in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer, making it the most common cancer for women.

* The OTIS foundation works to reduce the psychological impact on those living with breast cancer.

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