ThedaCare Employee Leads Drive to Donate Totes Filled with Care Items
The generosity from community members is helping ThedaCare Medical Center-Berlin cancer patients feel more comfortable while battling the disease.
ThedaCare employee Karen Murkley, who sells Thirty-One products with Kari Clark, donated 55 Thirty-One totes filled with different items for cancer patients. After watching Clark, the daughter of ThedaCare employee Kathy Beier, donate 23 totes last year to the oncology department, Murkley was inspired to do even more this year. She reached out to others on a Facebook Thirty-One VIP group page and through some friends via email.
The response was more than she expected.
“This brought the community together and people stepped up with donations,” said Murkley, who works in the walk-in clinic at ThedaCare Medical Center-Berlin. “We had 55 filled totes donated by our customers, my co-workers at ThedaCare and our family and friends. Nothing feels better than giving from the heart.”
The Thirty-One totes are filled with a variety of donated items, including handmade hats and mittens, lotion, soft socks, handmade lip balm, crossword puzzle books, note cards and snacks. A friend of Clark’s also crocheted hats for the totes. Subway gift cards were added to each tote since Murkley said “who wants to cook after a chemo treatment?” Bloch’s Greenhouse also provided a gift certificate for each tote bag.
Murkley gave special thanks to her knitting group, who donated the hats and mittens in memory of Tim Beardsley, a local resident who died last year following a long battle with cancer, and Thrivent Financial, who provided some funds to help fill the totes.
“The totes also have enough room so patients can add their own personal items,” Murkley said.
In addition to the Thirty-One cancer care totes, the oncology department recently received a donation of four Android tablets from a former cancer patient. “Patients and their family members can use the tablets during chemotherapy treatments, which can lead to some pretty long days,” said Danielle Greve, an oncology registered nurse at ThedaCare Medical Center-Berlin.
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,800 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 32 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. The ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton opened in February 2016. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.