Jim Armstrong Subaru and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) collaborated
to purchase blankets for cancer patients in hospitals worldwide. “Through
our Subaru Love Promise we aim to make the world a better place and our
owners care deeply about giving back in their local communities,”
Alan Bethke said, who is the senior vice president of marketing at Subaru
of America. “We are proud to team up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma
Society for Subaru Loves to Care month to help provide care and support
to patients battling cancer and their families.”
Catawba Valley Medical Center’s (CVMC) Comprehensive Cancer Center
received 60 blankets along with handwritten messages of hope Wednesday
morning, July 13, 2016.
“It’s just such an honor,” Melanie Lutz said, who is
the director of the cancer program at CVMC.
Throughout June, Subaru’s Love to Care month, customers wrote notes
to cancer patients.Lutz was told by a Subaru spokesman that Subaru personally
chose CVMC to receive the blankets because when they think of cancer patients,
CVMC comes to mind first. The infusion center at CVMC treats between 20
and 25 patients each day, Lutz said.
Cathy Bloomberg, donor development manager at LLS, contacted Lutz about
CVMC being chosen for the blanket donation in late May. Twenty-two dealerships
in North Carolina had the opportunity to choose which hospitals to donate
to, Bloomberg said. Around 34,000 blankets were donated across the country
and 1,360 in North Carolina, she added.
The first two patients to receive the blankets, Dr. Kant Patel and Sonya
Abernethy, were appreciative of the thought and effort.
“I love everyone here,” Sonya said. “I think (donating
blankets) is great, I am very appreciative.”
Sonya has acute leukemia, which means the cancer gets worse quickly. Dr.
Patel has lymphoma. Leukemia is a cancer that starts, in most cases, in
bone marrow. Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in cells in the immune system.
Sonya receives chemotherapy at CVMC every four weeks, but has to go in
for platelet and blood transfusions more often.
“It does get cold in (the infusion center), it feels like an ice
box,” Sonya said. She is very thankful to have a new blanket that
is warmer than the hospital blankets. She loves how people go out of their
way to help those in need.
“It’s been a journey, you have to laugh and enjoy things,”
This article first appeared in the
Hickory Daily Record on July 14, 2016