San Juan Cancer Center Patients Receive Care Bags

MONTROSE, CO: At a recent District 10 4H retreat, about sixty 4H youth gave their time to make care bags for San Juan Cancer Center patients.

The event includes 4H children from Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Grand Junction and San Miguel counties. State-level 4H personnel come to support the event, which is designed to expose 4H youth to life skills and teambuilding. Various workshops covered topics far and wide, but a few children chose to do something special with their time and make a difference.

Morgan Brack (age 13) and Kyle Cohick (age 12) are two young 4H participants who chose to make care bags for cancer patients over more exciting activities, like kickboxing.

“Giving back to the community was a higher priority than the other options,” said Morgan, who has participated in 4H for four years.

“I thought it was better to help people with cancer,” said Kyle.

The bags support cancer patients and have useful items inside such as lotion, chapstick, candy, and writing pads. Positive messages are written on the outside of the bags– such as, “Pain is temporary, hope can last forever,” “Be strong, be smart, be kind, be humble,” and “Be strong, because things will get better. It may be stormy now, but it never rains forever.”

The youth indicated they felt fulfilled being able to help. “We knew they were going to cancer patients and had the chance to make them smile and cheer them up,” said Morgan.

“We’re super proud of our 4H kids for helping our community. It really shows what 4H is all about—we like to be involved in the community and show we care,” said Nicole Goza, who helped with the District 10 retreat.

A joint effort between Montrose Memorial Hospital, San Juan Radiation Oncology and St. Mary’s Hospital, the San Juan Cancer Center opened its doors on April 3, 2006 to provide cancer care closer to home for residents of the seven county area in southwestern Colorado. A full range of treatment options is offered including consultation and examination, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, cancer counseling and coordination of care.