It has been just a month since Kimberly's last wish was put into action, and our new organization, the one which she named "Comfy for Chemo," was born. Since then we have taken great strides forward to fulfill her wishes. Comfy for Chemo is now official, we have a DBA registered in the state of Texas, in Harris County. Our official address is: 20705 Abington Cove Drive, Porter, TX 77365
We have a web site, www.comfyforchemo.org; a blog site, comfyforchemo.blogspot.com; a Twitter account, @comfy4chemo; and I think we now have over 1,100 fans following our Facebook fan page.
Most importantly, we have had a tremendous outpouring from so many friends, co-workers, family, and acquaintances of Kimberly who have donated blankets through Brookstone, and cash to purchase more blankets. But the most amazing thing is that we have delivered on our promise ... we have delivered 120 blankets to Womack Army Medical Center's Oncology department to give to the patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments. As you have read in our blog, on January 21, Bill Hansen delivered the blankets to Womack and they were accepted by Colonel Nadja West, Commander of Womack Army Medical Center; Major Robert Setlik, Chief, Department of Hematology and Oncology, Womack Army Medical Center; and Dr. Penelope Harris, Kimberly's oncologist.
Several of the volunteers loading the blankets to take into Womack Army Medical Center
Col West accepting the blankets from Bill Hansen, on behalf or Comfy for Chemo
Dr. Harris getting ready to hand out blankets to patients
The best of all was being able to give blankets to patients who were there, undergoing chemotherapy in the Oncology Department of Womack Army Medical Center (Womack). Over the past week, each of the 75+ chemotherapy patients will have received their cuddly blanket. This is just the first step, and a fantastic start toward many more donations to patients throughout the United States.
Three of the chemotherapy patients who were there and received Comfy for Chemo blankets. They were so very appreciative of this small gesture and we know that Kimberly was beaming to see that her wish and dream have come to fruition. We wish these patients well and will keep them in our prayers for their successful fight against cancer, and hope that the blankets will help keep their spirits high and will provide them comfort and warmth during their treatments.
As I have been talking with founders of other non-profit organizations, they are all amazed by all the efforts of all of you who have volunteered your time to help get Comfy for Chemo off the ground and flying in such a short period of time. None of this could have been possible without all your work and effort over the last four weeks. On behalf of Kimberly's family and the new Comfy for Chemo, I'd like to especially offer these heartfelt thank-you's to:
- All of the many donors of blankets and money ... without whom, Comfy for Chemo would not exist
- Bill Hansen, Kimberly's husband, who helped define the organization, and who played a huge role in getting the first blanket donation completed
- Dwight Hansen and Karen Covington, who took Kimberly's wish and dream and got the effort started by getting Brookstone to participate in the blanket donation program, and who helped get the first core group of volunteers together to establish the foundation of a great organization
- Butch and Margaret Hansen and Lisa and Chris Fellure and family, who helped stuff the Comfy for Chemo cards in the Brookstone blankets and deliver them to Womack with help from Ruth Bloomstrom and Susan Howell
- Lindsey Interdonati, who printed the Comfy for Chemo cards, and was also on site to help deliver the blankets to Womack
- Cathleen Conley-Wedding, who has been a rock star and really worked extra hard and went well beyond the call of duty to create the Comfy for Chemo card, web site, Facebook fan page, and blog, and who worked so very hard to get our web site and blog up and alive for the day of the blanket donation
- Liz Gould, who has volunteered to be our Volunteer coordinator
- Cherise Mlott, who has volunteered to be our consultant and coordinator for fundraising efforts
- Carol Smock, who has been a valued consultant and advisor to help me get our non-profit organization ready to apply for all the state and federal tax-exempt certifications, as well as helping get all the administrative stuff created (like By Laws, Mission Statement, and governing board)
- And a very special thanks to Derek Griffin, president of Speartek, who has donated his server and time to host our Comfy for Chemo web site.
Kimberly (#546) and part of her Team Sassy walking in the Get Your Rear In Gear 5k last year
Before her passing, she made sure there would be a Team Sassy for the Raleigh walk in March this year. In memory of her, there have been two more Team Sassy entries in the Charlotte and San Antonio walks in March. Thanks to all who are participating in these walks and I hope that there are more of you who can take the time to join any of the three Teams Sassy. We are hoping that Comfy for Chemo can help participate in each of these walks and spread the word about our blanket donations.
We have many more blankets to donate, with more being ordered next week. I am busy trying to identify the next military hospital to to donate blankets to their chemotherapy patients. Dr. Harris has graciously sent a a personal email to other US Army hospitals to get points of contact to coordinate with so that we can expand our blanket donations. You will hear more about these efforts as they materialize.
I am so proud of all of you for having taken Kimberly's dream so far so quickly, and for establishing a foundation upon which we can build an organization that will expand on the dream and provide the comfort and support to many, many more chemotherapy patients. I know that Kimberly is very proud, and probably quite impressed by our progress so far. I am truly excited about moving forward with our Comfy for Chemo endeavors, look forward to working with all of you in our ongoing projects, and again ... I THANK YOU ALL.