A “case” from the heart
Pictured are residents of Hansford Manor who helped make pillowcases for the recent delivery to Amarillo hospital. They are (back) Evelyn Dodd, (Front, L-R) Bernell Walker, Evelyn Wiseman and Sara Cole.
Judy Yarbrough is no stranger to hospital rooms. She knows what drab and downright scary places they can be.
In August 2008, Judy’s husband, Eugene went into cardiac arrest while on vacation in the Colorado Mountains.
“I cannot begin to tell you what wonderful care and treatment he received while in the hospital in Colorado Springs, and what wonderful support I received from family and friends while in an unfamiliar place,” said Judy Yarbrough. “How do you pay people back?”
Judy’s passion has always been helping other people. She has been privileged to volunteer at Hansford Manor and Hospital in Spearman for about 15 years. “It has been a real joy for me,” said Judy.
Judy recently became aware of a very special project that she now has become associated with ConKerr Cancer.
In 2002, a young man in Philadelphia, named Ryan Kerr, was diagnosed at the age of 12 with a rare bone cancer called osteosarcoma. Because of lengthy and numerous stays in the hospital, his mom, Cindy, started making pillowcases to brighten his hospital room. The pillowcases became very popular. Soon she was making pillowcases for all the children in the Oncology Unit of the hospital.
Sadly, Ryan died in 2008, and his Mom started the ConKerr Cancer Foundation in his honor. ConKerr Cancer is dedicated to Ryan and the thousands of children like Ryan who bring such courage and light to the world, despite their life-changing illness.
Cindy started her efforts with a few friends, and now 53 chapters have been formed. To date, 80,000 pillowcases have been distributed to critically ill children.
In March of this year, Judy had the opportunity to visit the Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City. She went with her mother, Ozella Bradley, and the Oklahoma Chapter coordinator. Judy
and her daughter, Callie, helped deliver pillowcases to many children from infants up to age 15. (The Oklahoma Chapter delivers 300 pillowcases a month.)
“The Foundation’s motto - A Case For Smiles - is so fitting because when we delivered the cases, the children did give us a big smile,” said Judy. “I feel sure that it may be the best thing that happens to them on that day. It was the most rewarding experience for me, as well as my daughter.”
Because Judy was so taken with this worthwhile organization, she has become a Coordinator and started a ConKerr Cancer Chapter in Hansford County.
“I want to give back a little of what was given to me in my time of uncertainty,” said Judy. “My goal is to make the same bright and cheery pillowcases for BSA Pediatric Unit and Northwest Children’s Hospital in Amarillo.”
At this time, the quota is 60 pillowcases per month. Anyone interested in participating in this project is invited to help. Knowing how to sew is not necessary to be able to help. People are needed to wash the fabric, cut, iron, fold and package.
The first meeting will be on Wednesday, June 10th from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Spearman. (Meetings will be held the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center.)
Pillowcases are made from cheery fabrics for kids, as colorful and fun as possible. Fabrics must be 100 percent cotton only (flannel and polar fleece are acceptable). Many patients are adolescent boys and girls, so some fabric appropriate for teenagers will also be needed.
It costs about $5 to make a pillowcase. Donations of fabric, thread and money would also be appreciated. For more information, please contact Judy Yarbrough at 806-659-3526, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sixty pillowcases that were made by the Hansford County ConKerr Cancer Chapter, were delivered to Northwest Children’s Hospital on Monday, May 29, 2009 (left) and BSA Pediatric Unit on May 31st (right) by Judy Yarbrough. The donation was featured on KAMR Channel 4 Children’s Miracle Network.