Holy Innocents' student offers 'Warm Love" to chemo patients | Community Spirit
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- When Khorkie Tyus’ mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, the Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School senior responded by helping her mom at home and spreading “warm love” to others.
Working with an oncology nurse, Khorkie developed an idea for special Warm Love kits for chemotherapy patients.
“I noticed there were people who went to chemo by themselves, and I thought some goodie bags would show them someone cared for them,” explained the 16 year old.
Many patients are sensitive to aluminum, for example, so Khorkie includes aluminum-free deodorant and toothpaste. Chemo patients also tend to get chilly when being infused so Khorkie packs hats, scarves, socks, and blankets. (In fact, cozy blankets were how the project got its name.)
The kits also contain water and snacks to help offset nausea; reading materials like crossword and Sudoku books; and eye masks. Also included are products for patients who experience drying side-effects from chemo — eye drops, Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, and Aquaphor ointment. Aquaphor, in fact, is just one company that has donated products, and Divinely Greek in Atlanta will supply bags with the Warm Love logo.
Khorkie also accepts speaking engagements and is continuing the project to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award. The whole experience, she says, has changed her life. “Going through this with my mom and hearing all the different stories from other people… it’s made me appreciate life more.”
Warm Love kits are being distributed to cancer patients at the Piedmont Cancer Institute. To donate, contact Khorkie at firstname.lastname@example.org.