Megan Tresnak, a registered nurse who is staying home to raise her two young children, wanted to help brighten the day of patients at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Cancer Center.
Tresnak is also a Thirty-One consultant, had the idea to start a chemotherapy bag fundraiser. On Monday, Tresnak dropped of 70 of the 100 bags for new patients who will be starting treatment at the cancer center.
“This is such a small community,” Tresnak said. “I know the foundation is raising money for the cancer center, so I decided to give this a shot.”
Tresnak said through donations from local businesses, organizations, friends and family and some of her Thirty-One customers, she raised more than $2,300.
“My goal was to raise $1,000,” she said. “I raised that in a matter of a day-and-a-half. People really found a connection with this fundraiser. The stories that I have heard from people, whether they lost a loved one or they have battled it, have been really powerful.”
Included in the bag are a journal, a word-search book, a stress ball, lotions, lip balm and candies because some patients say they get a metal taste in their mount.
There are a lot of items to make their days a little more comfortable during the chemotherapy sessions, she said.
“These patients deserve to have some sort of joy before beginning a journey that they never wanted to start,” she said.
Kaley Petersen, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Foundation and community services director, said this idea has a ton of merit because it directly affects patients.
“What she has put together is new patient chemo start kits,” Petersen said. “Patients that have been diagnosed and going to start their chemo journey. This is really a care kit with a lot of really helpful items that patients would need as they go through that whether it is little chapsticks, hand lotion and little treats that help with your mouth when you get dry mouth or sores in your mouth when you are getting treatment.
“We have unfortunately seen an increase in the number of patients that we treat every year for cancer. Just knowing that there is that level of community understanding and appreciation that the community has your back, I think that means a lot.”
Tresnak said she received donations from Riverflats Coffee and Tea, Magee Insurance, West Shore Bank, The Vintage Tub, Sister Bee’s, Culver’s, Krave and a discount from Tresnak if they want to purchase any Thirty-One products.
Tresnak will also deliver and additional 15 staff bags that will be delivered by the end of the week for the staff at the cancer center.
She is waiting on a few items and once they arrive, she will deliver the remaining 30 bags to the cancer center as well.