'It is a gift from us to them' - breast cancer patients to receive boxes packed with care and kindness
PUBLISHED: 18:47 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:31 12 September 2018
A charity is spreading its wings to provide comfort boxes for women with primary breast cancer in east Norfolk.
Some 150 women undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital have already received boxed bundles of goodies from the charity Littlelifts.
It was set up by Oa Hackett, of Bawburgh near Norwich, following her own shock breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 28.
Comforted by the kindness of friends and family whose thoughtful gifts and messages lifted her while she was ill she set up Littlelifts to help other women going through a similar process.
Today the 32-year-old proudly launched the treat packages at Gorleston’s James Paget Hospital.
It means some 60 women a year will receive a Littlelifts gift box containing around 20 items carefully selected by a panel of patients based on their sometimes overlooked needs.
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Mrs Hackett, who has quit her role with the Princes Trust to concentrate full time on her charity, said the feedback had been overwhelming positive and that she was looking forward to helping as many women as possible.
She said: “It is not just the products that are helping them through treatment it is the kindness that someone has thought about them and carefully and lovingly put something together for them.
“The women who receive boxes say they do not feel alone and get the message that someone has trodden this path before and got through it.”
The boxes are all hand-packed and contain practical items like plastic knives and forks and soft toothbrushes because treatment means mouths can become sore, as well as chocolate treats, sweets and a notebook and pen.
Mrs Hackett added: “The ambition is big. I want to support as many women as possible going through chemotherapy and breast cancer. It is a gift from us to them.”
Sharon Thain, breast care nurse specialist at the JPH, said she was delighted to be involved and excited to give out the first box to one of her patients.
“When I was approached and first met Oa I just thought it was such a lovely idea. We are very medicalised and what I love about this is that it is so personal.”
The boxes are paid for by local fundraising and grants.
One of the charity’s biggest supporters is Art for Cure which funds national research into cures and treatments for breast cancer.
It was set up four years ago by Belinda Gray after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has raised over £500,000.