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CROWN POINT - Nurse Navigator Joan Filipowski of the Burrell Cancer Center walked into the Sew Thoughtful Workshop and was delightfully surprised.

“Wow – this is amazing,” she said as she scanned a room of volunteers working at different stations, creating cloth pouches for patients who need a drain after surgery. Filipowski knew the pouches would be a big help for her mastectomy patients.

Geisen Funeral Home hosted the workshop, which was organized by Theresa Brandys. “When patients are sent home with a drain (as they are after having a mastectomy), they don’t have a convenient place to put them. These pouches provide a way to comfortably hold the drain, and it can be concealed so the drain isn’t visible in public,” Brandys said.

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Brandys called upon community volunteers to sew, iron and pin. Volunteers gathered at the Geisen Reception Centre on a Saturday morning, shared a gourmet breakfast and then worked until noon. “We don’t go past noon – that way our volunteers can get home at a decent time,” Brandys said.

Approximately 200 cloth pouches were made and donated to Burrell Cancer Center in Crown Point by  Brandys, Diana Crider, Sue Dahlkamp, Tammy Maas, Judy Pehl, Sue Riester, Erma Setlak, Deb Simko and Sally Szumski, all of Crown Point; Janet Andrus and Jean Coleman, both of Merrillville; Barb Moses, of Cedar Lake; Jaye Recupido, Kathy Hegys, Terry Smutiak and Linda Lamken, all of Lowell; and Kathy Ward, of DeMotte. 

Another workshop will be held Nov. 1 at Geisen Reception Centre, 606 E. 113th Ave. To donate cotton fabric or volunteer, contact Jean Lahm at (219) 663-2500.

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