Young girl creates lasting legacy with special chemo shirts

June 16, 2017 07:07 PM

Pediatric cancer patients at Albany Medical Center have new apparel that will make their treatment a little more bearable. Without science and engineering, this wouldn't be possible.

This all started in Arizona with a 12-year-old girl fighting cancer for the second time. Amanda Hope couldn't stand lifting up her shirt to get her chemo treatment and blood transfusions.

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She was like, ‘Mom, there must be something we can do. I hate everyone looking at my body,’ explained Lorraine Tallman with Comfycozy’s for Chemo and Amanda’s mom.

She suggested something with a peekaboo pocket, so her mom later founded Comfycozy’s for Chemo. With research into what doctors needed and what kids wanted, they came up with tie-died shirts with multiple zippers and they're a hit!

"This shirt, this Comfycozy for Chemo, needs to be in every pediatric hematology clinic. I am beyond grateful that we are able to have them here in our clinic," beamed Sue Clark, a nursing supervisor.

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That's thanks to Frank DeBlasi, a cancer survivor himself, who donated enough money to provide the shirts for every child at the Melodies Center.

"I was blown away by her story, her mission, but more so the impact that she’s having not only in Arizona, but throughout the rest of the country," he noted.

Unfortunately, Amanda passed away just weeks after coming up with the idea.

"In her last few weeks of her life, she made me promise that when she was gone, that I would make sure that every child fighting cancer would get a Comfycozy," noted mom.

The parents of 6-year-old Evan couldn’t be more grateful.

"It's amazing to see how compassionate people can be," beamed Evan’s dad.

"He’s not as self-conscious and he can just be himself," added Evan’s mom.

"I feel her presence. She’s right here. Every time I can give another away, and it's her legacy and I’m so proud that she's given me this gift to pay it forward," admitted Tallman.

Each shirt costs about $30.

More information:

ComfyCozy's for Chemo


WNYT Staff

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