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(l-to-r) Window and Door Store general manager, Heather Krawchuk, owner, Jessica Ogden, and Joshua Cousineau, marketing and public relations associate look through a Chemo Bag, January 16, 2024. Image: Randy Thoms

Donations wanted for chemo bags

By Randy Thoms Jan 30, 2024 | 4:11 PM

A program for chemotherapy patients in the Rainy River District is continuing.

Seven years ago, Jessica Ogden, as a Thirty-One Consultant, created ‘chemo bags’ to provide patients with a variety of personal items they can use while receiving chemotherapy treatment at the hospital.

It was patterned after a similar program done by another consultant in southern Ontario.

Thirty-one bags were put together during the first year, expanding to almost 90 in 2017.

“I get reactions from patients just saying, ‘you’re doing such a great thing for the community.’ It puts a smile on your face when it’s your first day going to chemo, and you’ve never done this before, and you’re not sure what you’re going in for,” says Ogden.

“I’ve also talked to the nurses that get to give the bags to people, and they said that it’s the one and only good thing that they get to see patients smiling when they’re getting these bags because they are a little bit nervous when they come.”

Now the co-owner of The Window & Door Store, Ogden hopes to expand the program.

“I thought we would try to get the Window & Door Store to get it into the public, to have more of the community be involved in it, rather than just me and a few other people in the community who decide to help out with the chemo bags,” says Ogden.

A campaign is underway to reach out to other businesses interested in donating items or funding.

“We believe with the help of the larger community, we can really turn this into an even greater effort than we’ve already been contributing to the chemo bags. That’s really what we’re looking for, to get more of the community involved,” says Joshua Cousineau, the company’s marketing and public relations associate.

Ogden would like to create 150 chemo bags with the community’s support.

To donate items, contact Joshua by email at marketing@windowdoor.net or call 807-274-0302, ext. 27.