When one is diagnosed with cancer, any and all sense of modesty and dignity is stripped away. It is not a comfortable feeling to have nurses tearing at your clothes as if they have all the rights in the world to do it. They try to be gentle, and they try to be respectful, but let’s face it… no matter how much they try, patients are still left feeling not only sick, but helpless as well. Often, at the time, they are too sick to care, but more often than not, it comes back to them later.
Comfycozys for Chemo was inspired by a girl from Phoenix, AZ named Amanda Hope, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was nine years old. She endured three long years of harsh chemotherapy treatment, and finally had a “No Mo’ Chemo” party in March 2011. But a few months later, at the end of June, she was sick again. Her parents were informed that there was a mass in her brain, and that she needed a biopsy in order for the doctors to figure out what it was. Amanda’s two sisters were tested to determine if they were candidates for a bone marrow transplant. Her oldest sister was a perfect match. Amanda spent her time preparing for the transplant – receiving more chemo and radiation and another surgery to insert a Broviac® port intended for fluids, medications, and blood work during her transplant and recovery. All this time she kept smiling, praying for other children. She mourned the loss of her hospital friends along the way and celebrated with those who were still in remission.
A week before her scheduled transplant in January 2012, Amanda’s cancer cells mutated. Chemo was like candy and she went from 0.05% cancer to 80% so she was no longer a candidate for transplant. Amanda never gave up hope and always believed in her healing. Amanda fought hard all while making everyone around her smile and laugh. She also had a dream. Amanda’s dream was that one day when she was healed she would make a clothing line for kids going through chemo that would allow them to keep their “modesty and dignity.” Amanda always hated her body being exposed to a room full of strange doctors, nurses, and others and wanted better for other children going through the same thing.
Amanda lost her battle here on earth on March 30, 2012, but her dream lives on. A week after her passing, Amanda’s mother launched a Facebook page to make her daughter’s dream come true. “Comfycozys” are “special T-shirts are designed with zippers, pockets and slits to allow access to chest-ports without exposing the child’s body and to allow for storing of the IV lines preventing tangling and pulling on their clothing. They are made in the fun, tie-dye colors that Amanda loved so much.Amanda’s spirit of life and integrity of self continues to inspire us all! Her dream is coming true. Five hundred children will receive “Comfycozys for Chemo” T-shirts this Christmas. By next Christmas, our goal is that every child in Arizona who needs a port will receive a “Comfycozys for Chemo” T-shirt from Amanda Hope’s Dream. With God’s blessing, please touch a child’s life today by supporting this amazing cause!
I think all children fighting cancer throughout the country should have a Comfycozy! It is such a great idea!
DISCLAIMER: The italic parts of this post are direct quotes from the ComfyCozys for Chemo Facebook page.