The McKesson Foundation has partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide care packages to Veterans undergoing cancer treatment at VA Medical Centers. The care packages, or “Comfort Kits,” will be distributed through a McKesson Foundation program called Giving Comfort.
“The McKesson Foundation is proud to partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs to support our Veterans who are battling cancer,” Christine Lopez, president of the McKesson Foundation, said. “McKesson Corporation has a strong commitment to our Veteran and active duty military communities, and the Foundation shares that commitment to support those who have given so much through their service to our country. Our hope is that the Comfort Kits will help make treatment a bit more bearable for these patients.”
The Comfort Kits came to fruition when Giving Comfort asked hundreds of patients, caregivers, social workers and oncology professionals what cancer patients need most while they’re going through treatment. They discovered that small comfort items can really help patients enduring tough cancer treatments. The most requested comfort items – such as fuzzy socks, warm blankets and journals – were included in the Comfort Kits.
“A diagnosis of cancer is often a life changing event,” Dr. Michael J. Kelley, VA National Program Director for Oncology, said. “The kits provide some comfort to Veterans during that difficult time.”
Every year, more than 70,000 Veterans are diagnosed with or treated for cancer within the VA.
One woman whose loved one is battling cancer at the VA Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, shared their experience after receiving a Comfort Kit.
“We have been fighting his cancer since 2011,” she said. “When we opened the backpack and saw the many thoughtful items placed inside of its zipped compartments, we were touched. Sometimes we feel very alone in this ever stressing situation with cancer. But the card to wish us well, made and signed by Carol in Dubuque, IA, really was a nice touch. Here we are in Oregon, and someone far away is caring for people like us.”
Comfort Kits are currently delivered to Veterans undergoing treatment in nine VA Medical Centers nationwide. For more information, visit www.givingcomfort.com.