Monday, August 17, 2015

Cancer survivor creates care bags for Cox Branson patients

Ellen Young, left, presents 20 cancer care bags to Marcy Keltner, with CoxHealth Cancer Center Branson. Young, a breast cancer survivor, and her daughter, Elizabeth Williams, donated the bags to the Branson center and plan to make more for other cancer center locations.

A cancer diagnosis is devastating and for many patients, the road to recovery often includes chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries throughout the battle. Ellen Young, an associate administrative director for CoxHealth, and her daughter-in-law Jill Young know the battle all too well – they are breast cancer survivors.

Understanding the battle that other women are facing, Ellen Young wanted to do something with her family that would give hope and encouragement to women currently fighting cancer.

Together, Ellen Young and her daughter Elizabeth Williams, a Thirty-One consultant, recently donated 20 beautiful cancer care bags to CoxHealth Cancer Center Branson to be distributed to cancer patients.
“If through these bags we can encourage these ladies and let them know we’ve been there and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we want to do that,” Ellen Young said. “We want them to know there is someone who cares and there is hope.”

Each Thirty-One tote bag was filled with a blanket, footies, lotion, crossword puzzle book, pen, mints, soaps, hand sanitizer, sweet and salty snacks, and bottled water with flavoring.

"During our journeys, we were blessed to have the support of family and friends as well as the financial means to provide for our comfort,” Ellen Young said. “Many aren’t that fortunate.”

Cox Branson Patient Navigator Marcy Keltner distributed the first bags and said the gifts were enthusiastically welcomed by patients.

“It is a wonderful feeling to watch the patient’s face light up and then the tears start to fall as they are overcome with gratitude that someone who does not know them would do something so kind and thoughtful,” Keltner said. “They love these beautiful bags filled with comfort items.”

Ellen Young and Williams plan to donate more care bags and will include other CoxHealth locations in the future. If in anyone is interested in helping the mother and daughter pair provide care bags for CoxHealth cancer patients, please contact Ellen Young at 417-875-2720.