Local Zonta Clubs donate comfort pillows for mastectomy Patients at Sparrow

Members of the Lansing, East Lansing, and Michigan Capitol Area Zonta Clubs gathered at the Sparrow Cancer Center on Thursday, Oct. 29 to present more than 300 handmade comfort pillows for recovering mastectomy Patients. The pillows are used to guard and protect the Patient’s surgery site when coughing, riding in a car, and similar potentially painful situations.

The heart-shaped pillows are covered with a soft flannel or fleece and include a pocket for post-surgical equipment and an adjustable strap to put around the neck or shoulder to secure the pillow in place. The annual donation has brought comfort to literally hundreds of Sparrow Patients over the past five years.

“The pillows are really important for Patient comfort, but they also provide so much emotional support,” said Timothy McKenna, D.O., Director of the Sparrow Cancer Center’s multidisciplinary breast clinic, which is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). “To know so many people care about them is really a big psychological lift during what is a very hard time for these Patients.”

Some of the donated pillows will also be used by the Sparrow Heart and Vascular Center to help Patients recovering from open-heart surgery who face similar post-surgical needs.

“It’s just nice to have a way to give back to the community. Someday we may be in their shoes. If that happens, I hope there’s an organization that cares as much as we do,” said Melody Atwood, treasurer of the Zonta Club of Lansing.

Diedra Boles, chair of the Michigan Capital Area Zonta Club’s service committee, agreed.

“I’ve had friends who’ve had cancer and I’ve seen firsthand how it helps ease their pain,” said Boles. “It’s such a good feeling to have something we can do to make them feel a little better.”

All three Zonta Clubs are members of Zonta International, a worldwide service organization of executives, professionals and people of decision-making experience who work to advance and empower the status of women and girls through service and advocacy. The Lansing Club was founded in 1922, East Lansing Club in 1979, and the Michigan Capitol Area Club in 1984.

Dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, and support of Patients with cancer all under one roof, the Sparrow Cancer Center offers the latest in surgical, medical and radiation oncology with access to clinical trials unique to the area. For more information on the Sparrow Cancer Center, visit Sparrow.org/Cancer or call 517.364.2780.

Choose Wisely. Choose Sparrow.