Sunday, May 17, 2015

76 Units & Go Blackhawks!

Thanks to all of you,
our 6th Annual Erin Potts Memorial Blood Drive
was a huge success. 

In spite of my concern earlier in the week about a lower than usual number of registered donors, so many of you stepped forward, again.  And then, we had our first timers!  You did it! Piece of cake, right?

The total number of units collected yesterday was 76,
which is an outstanding response!
Collectively, you'll be assisting 228 individuals who are
in need of blood products, as each donated unit
can impact up to three lives.
Yep, that's pretty great!
Knowing firsthand how the majority of us have to cram in so many to-do's on a typical Saturday, I'm grateful to you for choosing to make the time to stop in amidst grocery shopping, trips to Home Depot, yard work, track meets, ball games, etc.  Hopefully your experience with us was a positive one, and the LifeSource staff got you in and out fairly quickly.  If you were unable to join us, you can stop at any LifeSource center or mobile unit anytime throughout the year (some folks do so on a regular basis) and use Erin Potts Code 556C.  We are eligible to donate blood every 8 weeks. 
A very special thank you goes to Erin's dear friend Kristin who came from Milwaukee to donate, and after doing so, drove back north to don cap and gown to graduate from Marquette University Law School... "so Erin could be part of this special day in my life".
I'm so deeply grateful, and still very weepy (in a good way) today...  yeah, wow.

2008 Relay for Life "E-Unit" Team
Each year I say, "This will be the last blood drive I host", and then I think about the number of lives we have the opportunity to impact (close to 800 units collected thus far) when we're encouraged to pause for a bit and think beyond the busyness of our own little spheres, and I wind up scheduling the next one!  So... you'll probably hear from me next May!
While I have you here on this dreary Sunday morning,
I want to share a few of the Scatter Kindness monthly treats we've given to our patients. 
For St. Patrick's Day,
we put together a shamrock cup of goodies.
We included some gold and silver nuggets
and a scratch-off lottery ticket.
Can you believe that out of 50 lottery tickets,
only one patient won... $2.00!  Really?!  Come on!!
In April, the Easter bunny stopped by
with a little CARE package.
 And now, we're in the midst of a
very exciting Blackhawks season.
These were shared with patients over the past week.
We have some pretzel rod hockey sticks,
some brownie bite pucks,
a combo bag of red & black M & M's
and a hockey-themed message.
(One patient, an 80 yr old gentleman, told me he was saving his treats 'til game time today, and his beer was going in his new cup. Now that's the spirit!)
Game time today is 2:00.
Is everyone dressed appropriately?
Thanks again to all of you who support my causes. 
- sometimes in the winds of change
we find our true direction -

Monday, April 20, 2015

What Type Are You?

The Giving Type, of course!
Thanks to those of you who've
already signed up to participate in our
annual blood drive on May 16th.
 700+ units have been collected since
our first drive in 2010.
You've positively impacted the lives of so many people!
Please join us again.
Details are listed below this year's flyer.

Calling all experienced veterans and also first time donors!
Be sure to eat a hearty meal
and drink lots of fluids before coming.
I know how busy everyone is,
but please consider taking a few minutes
to stop in Morrissey Hall on May 16th.
Bring a friend or two.
I'll bet you'll run into some folks you know!
Even though walk-ins are more than welcome,
it's best for planning purposes if you sign up ahead of time
so LifeSource can anticipate the number of donors
and staff the event accordingly.
Check your calendar, and then...
* Register via the LifeSource website HERE. *
* Call the LifeSource phone number listed above. *
* Email me and I'll be happy to schedule you. *
See you all on the 16th.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The EPI and a little Encourage "mint"!

We offer sincere thanks to each and every one of you who helped make the 6th Annual Erin Potts Invitational Volleyball Tournament a success. Over $7,000 was collected this year!

Whether it was through the donation of time, money, raffle items or food/beverages, or you were a participating player/coach in the games or a cheering fan in the stands, you made a significant contribution to our cause.

Our first-hand experience with the cancer world affords us an understanding of the importance of initiatives that meet the emotional and financial needs of patients as they find their way through the challenges that accompany the diagnosis and treatment path of this disease. 

The name of my blog, taken from Bob Dylan's Forever Young which is copied in the sidebar... when the winds of changes shift... rings true day in and day out.  Our goal is to strengthen that ground, that foundation, as individuals tip and sway from the effects of this awful disease.  
Scatter Kindness was launched just a year ago, and because of your generosity
we've been able to impact so many lives, and we're just getting started! 

Proceeds from the tournament will continue to fund intentional acts of Kindness directed toward patients at both Hinsdale and LaGrange Hospitals.  These include:
Celebratory gifts given when individuals complete treatment.  Financial support - gas and grocery cards, money for medications/health-related supplies, etc. - provided to patients who are struggling to make ends meet. 
Monthly themed care packages... because hugs, kisses and sweets are just as important as nasty cancer treatments.  Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!
AND, hot off the kitchen island this weekend... a little encourage "mint" offered to patients as they begin treatment or come for a procedure - port placement, biopsy, surgery...  I'm so excited about sharing these in the coming days!   

We extend our hands to you in deep gratitude
for helping us remember Erin in such a positive way; 
through actions that impact the lives of others.
By doing so, you've chosen to be part of something very special. 
P.S.  Pictures from the tournament are ready. Our photographer, Kevin, has loaded them onto the Shutterfly Website.  Click on the link to take you to the site.  Password is "kindness", naturally!
Donations are gratefully accepted any time the spirit moves you. 
Please see information in the sidebar.  Thank you!  

Monday, December 22, 2014

faithful friends who are dear to us

just pausing for a few moments tonight
amidst all the hustle and bustle
to thank you for helping us
Scatter Kindness toward our patients again this month
your generosity impacted 40 individuals today
in the radiation oncology departments
at Hinsdale and LaGrange Hospitals
i'm virtually sharing the smiles, kisses and hugs with you 
patients received
yummy hot cocoa, biscotti and peppermint candy
in festive red mugs
wrapped in bags with pretty white snowflakes
and tied with a bright red bow 
here's hoping all of you...
have yourself a Merry little Christmas

let your heart be light
next year all our troubles will be out of sight
(if only!)
faithful friends
who are dear to us
gather near to us

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

so thankful for you!

I'm sitting here in my jammies tonight, typing away, thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday and feeling all warm and fuzzy.  A little teary-eyed too.  I know, I know!  Keep reading, and you might feel the same way.

We love to tell our patients how much we care about them,
so the theme of this month's treat is a real no-brainer! 

There's a new store in the 'hood, up at the corner of Ogden and LaGrange Road. 
Have you been to Nothing Bundt Cakes yet?  If not, check it out!
I wandered in there last weekend, looking for ideas for
a Thanksgiving treat for our patients. 
There it was - Hello Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cakes! 

I explained Scatter Kindness to Todd, the store manager,
and he kindly discounted my order to help the cause.
Seems his dad has cancer too. Yes, it's everywhere...
I added a little lemon ginger tea and some festive ribbon.
Ta Da
We gave them to the patients at Hinsdale Hospital on Monday
and at LaGrange Hospital yesterday.
The rave reviews poured in!  DELICIOUS!!!

It's so much fun to tell you about the comings and goings of Scatter Kindness in this blog, and tonight while I have you here I want to share a couple more stories because, considering tomorrow's date, they're both quite relevant.  

The Fund is used in several ways.  One is shown in the photos above and also below as you scroll through previous blog posts. 
In elementary terms, cancer treatment is difficult. 

We Scatter Kindness on an ongoing basis using carefully chosen, creative little goodies with the intention of making our patients feel special. The resulting smiles and hugs tell us we're doing something right!

What I don't often talk about are the serious challenges some patients face.  Often, the ripple effect of a cancer diagnosis includes job loss, financial devastation, family discord, depression... I could go on. 

Recently, one of my fellow navigators shared the financial hardships of one of her patients - single mom, one child, lost her job, struggling to live day-to-day.  Using Scatter Kindness funds, we purchased gift cards for groceries and gas.  The basics.  Below is the thank you note my colleague received -


What a God sent you have been in my life.
I got up checked mail and found your card.  Needless to say I'm crying.  He knows the perfect time when to provide for each of us.  I'm in the car on the way to the food pantry and then was worried knowing I need to be in Desplaines today at 1 for an interview.  The fuel level light in my car is on.
How Great is our God.
I love you dearly for the kind and compassionate heart that you have.  I'm not use to being on this end.  I was the one like you that always gave.  I just want to tell you thank you for being who you are!!! As I can no longer see what I'm writing from these tears in my eyes.  I pray you have a happy and blessed day knowing you've touched my soul today.


Thanks to all of you.  Your generosity made this happen.
* * *
My second story includes none other than our favorite coach of the Hawks.  Q!!!

I met a patient for Part One of a cancer-related procedure about three weeks ago.  Through the course of conversation, this gentleman told me he'd had "a rough couple of years leading up to his February diagnosis".  He proceeded to tell me he first lost his mother-in-law.  Then his wife died suddenly.  Both of his parents died.  And, last but not least, his dog of 15 years died.  Yep, the dog part put me over the edge.  Not to worry though - this man was smiling and hope-filled, and he assured me he was well supported at home by his six (yes six) children ranging in age from 22 - 34.  My Lord, he was an inspiration. We agreed he was long overdue for some good things to happen in his life.

A Blackhawks hat covered his fuzzy hair-growing-back-from-chemo head, and I asked if he was truly a fan.  He proudly showed me Tony Esposito's signature on the bill of the cap, and assured me he was a devout follower.  I told him I'd met Coach Q in the lobby of the hospital after they'd won The Cup, and I'd actually snapped a picture of him with my phone.  A few minutes later, Greg was whisked off to his procedure.

Well, I have a gift for him when he returns for Part Two of the procedure next week.
Check out the autograph, my friends!
I am so crazy excited to give this to Greg! 
How did I do this, you ask?  I have my ways :) hee hee
I love my job!
And now, I'm sending all of you a virtual pumpkin spice bundt cake
to say I'm so thankful for you!
 And I'll leave you with a simple thought.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You're Simply "Eerie" sistible!

It's almost Halloween, and you know what that means.
Time to share some treat bags with our patients. 
Remember our September bags? 
We had a harvest theme, and included some
healthy fruit and grain snacks.
This month, healthy?  Hmmm... not so much!
Well, maybe a little bit.  Peanut butter is good for us.
But, that chocolate calls out -
"Come on, have just one!"
Who can resist the temptation?
Not me.  Weak! Very weak!
Do your teeth hurt yet?  That's OK.
This is very important therapy.
* * *
We really want to tell our patients...
Don't you agree?
Thank you again for your generosity.
Because of you, we can help our patients feel
Simply "Eerie" sistible!
* * *
"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it."
- Mae West -

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Time to Reap

Happy first day of autumn!
We have such beautiful weather this week
to help us make the shift into the season.
It's harvest time, so this month's care bags
include some fruit and grains. 
We packed a little applesauce
with some Nutri-Grain Bars,

 and popped in some baked Goldfish crackers.
Simple and YUMMY!!!
I started handing out the bags yesterday.
Today, one patient said...
"Thanks so much for the treats. 
That bag of Goldfish crackers was the perfect thing
to munch on during chemo today!"
The spouse of another patient said...
"My husband hasn't been eating much, but I want you to know he was really excited about the treats.  He ate all the applesauce, the whole Nutri-Grain bar and half the bag of Goldfish crackers when we got home. 
I couldn't believe it!"
Another one said...
"I ate the Goldfish during the Bears game
and then had the Nutri-Grain bar and applesauce for breakfast this morning."
Simple acts of kindness go a long way
when someone isn't feeling well.
Thanks to YOU we can make this happen.
Sow a thought and you reap an action;
sow an act and you reap a habit;
sow a habit and you reap a character;
sow a character and you reap a destiny.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson -