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"Hillsboro Healing Hearts" Pillows Comfort Breast Cancer Patients
Six women are making pillows for post-mastectomy breast cancer patients.
Six women are meeting regularly at a Hillsboro home to make handcrafted protective pillows and seat belt shoulder straps for another group of women they care deeply about: Post-mastectomy breast cancer patients at Tuality Hospital in Downtown Hillsboro.
City of Hillsboro Information Services Supervisor Amy Sherwood’s mother, Kris Kellor, recently moved to Hillsboro and wanted to get involved in her new community by making the pillows. When Kris broke her arm and could not complete some of the steps required to make the pillows, Amy got involved as well.
The manager of Tuality’s Breast Health Center requested 12 pillows. Kris then asked for assistance from other interested seamstresses in the community to create the pillows on an ongoing basis.They connected with members of the Hillsboro Community Senior Center’s Material Girls sewing group. That’s when Kris began hosting gatherings at her home in the Jackson School neighborhood to make the pillows for patients at Tuality Hospital.
Here's how Kris describes the pillows:
“Many women find it comforting to place a small pillow under the affected arm and/or breast area after having surgical procedures involving the breast and/or underarm lymph nodes. The pillows are reported to be most useful while the woman is recovering from the surgical wounds. The pillow provides support and protection from skin on skin contact. Also, the pillows provide protection from seat belt rubbing when riding in a car.
Women who received radiation therapy for breast cancer have attested to the comfort the pillow provided in keeping the under breast and armpit area dry and protected from pressure. The pillows are available commercially, but, volunteers wishing to support those experiencing breast cancer have found it rewarding to sew the pillows (out of all new cotton and poly stuffing to make them wash and wear) in fun fabrics for free distribution to patients.
The recommendation is that women be given two pillows for each affected breast in order to have one in the wash while the other is in use. A small ribbon is attached to the heart-shaped pillow for ease of carrying it from room to room, hospital to car, etc. Also the pillows can be hung on a doorknob or bedpost for easy retrieval.”