Operation Chemo Care 

Operation Chemo Care is a Silver Award project dedicated to the well-being and security of chemotherapy patients. For our project, our goal was to make 100 care packages for these patients, the materials of which are described in detail below.


Our Cause

 

Rochester, Minnesota (the city of which Operation Chemo Care is based out of) is known as Med City, and is famous for the Mayo Clinic. With our cutting-edge treatments and state-of-the-art technology, Mayo Clinic draws in a net average of over one million patients per year, some of them from Rochester, many of them not.

 

For Operation Chemo Care, we focused our efforts on the Hope Lodge, a housing facility for cancer and chemotherapy patients. Our 100 care packages and 500 pillowcases were later donated to patients staying there.


Materials

 

In our care packages, we included items that would appeal to the overall needs of a patient undergoing chemotherapy. These people frequently experience general sensitivity, such as finding the taste of metal or the feeling of abrasive bristles on a toothbrush highly unpleasant. Our project and the contents of the packages needed to conform to these needs and more by including items that wouldn't trigger sensitivity, also taking into consideration the possibility that these patients may not be familiar with Rochester or the surrounding areas.

 

Toothbrushes with soft bristles, floss, sensitive toothpaste, and throat lozenges were a clear go-to for oral sensitivity, and since many chemo patients don't like the taste of metal, we also included washable and reusable plastic cutlery.

 

For the issue of out-of-town, state, and/or country patients, we needed to include something that would help them get around and do things. Among these items are planners and mini-calendars (with pens!) to keep track of appointments, a public transportation map to help the patient move about the city, and a visitor library card should the patient feel the need to check out books for education and/or pleasure.

 

Cleanliness is another matter that should not be ignored. It is important that cancer/chemotherapy patients stay clean and maintain their personal hygiene. Because of this, we incorporated chap sticks, pocket-sized hand sanitizer, fragrance-free Vanicream lotion, and Vaniply ointment/skin protectant. Along with all this, every package comes with a homemade pillowcase and--of course--an Operation Chemo Care tote bag.


Special Thanks

 

First of all, we'd like to thank Hope Lodge, who graciously accepted our donation. Specific brands that were used in our care packages include Ludens, Vanicream, and Vaniply.

 

Pine Needles Quilt Shop and the groups affiliated with it were large contributors, providing us with 500 homemade pillowcases for our cause.

 

Jennifer H. was our advisor through the entirety of our project.


Join Us!

If you'd like to recreate our project or do something similar in your community, you can view our YouTube video explaining the items in our care packages.

 

Visit our Pinterest Page for more ideas on how to create your own Chemo Care Package!