Your Health: Port pillows make the drive comfortable

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Many chemotherapy patients have an opening in their skin, or "port," where their medicine is delivered. But it's often sore and uncomfortable, and some things just make it worse.  Just ask Ovarian Cancer Patient, Judy Hullett.

"Once I had my diagnosis and my surgery, the first time I was able to drive, I had to have a port put in for my chemo and I pulled the seat belt over and I realized then that it was very tender," said Hullett.

Judy works part time in Huntsville Hospital's main gift shop. "I was given this special gift by the volunteers to use on my seat belt and it's just been a tremendous help," she said.

That special gift came about because strangers are working hard for the comfort of others.

Karen Adams is the cancer program manager at Huntsville Hospital. "Over a couple of years we ran into some challenges and then one day we thought well, maybe we could train some of our awesome, auxiliary volunteers that are here at the hospital to be American Cancer Society ambassadors," said Adams.

Adams said that training paid off. "Through that we were able to exceed our goal this year in reaching patients and through providing information, and also we were able to start the port pillow project along side of that which as been a secondary blessing."

"When patients receive these little port pillows, they also receive something just as important. That's a message of hope that goes with every pillow," she added.

Pat Legg is the director of volunteer services at the hospital. "Completely volunteer-made and donor-given as far as the funding. For quite a while now with all of our pillows. They're gifts made by volunteers every Monday here at the hospital," she said.

So what do patients and others think of the program?

"Wonderful feedback. In fact we've had feedback from heart patients. They're like "Ahhh, I need that for my pacemaker," said Legg.

Judy Hullett is happy. "I just love it. I really do. I just love it."

A love for others paying off through a small offering.

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