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Stitched, stuffed with love
Common Threads sewing group makes 300 comfort pillows for Memorial cancer patients
Judy King snips some threads before putting the finishing touches on a comfort pillow Saturday when Common Threads sewed more than 300 comfort pillows. - photo by Crissie Elric

Breast cancer and abdominal surgery patients at Memorial University Medical Center will soon receive a little handmade love in the form of comfort pillows thanks to a group of Richmond Hill ladies.
The sewing group Common Threads came together for a work day Saturday at the Richmond Hill Public Library, where about a dozen women sewed more than 300 comfort pillows in just a few short hours.
Jennifer Sili, an oncology nurse navigator with Memorial, was on hand to collect the pillows to take back to the patients. She said the pillows are helpful to those recovering from surgeries.
“We want every patient to have one of these handmade pillows to help protect their abdomen and arms,” Sili said.
The 8-inch square pillows, Sili explained, are given to patients after breast cancer and abdominal surgeries to help protect surgical incisions and port-a-cath devices from seatbelts. Some patients also put the pillows under their arms for support where lymph nodes are removed, she said.
“The doctors really like for the patients to receive handmade pillows, especially Dr. Denitto and Dr. Rudolph,” Sili said. “They could get them from China, but they want them handmade because it means so much more.”
Sili said she is thankful the ladies are willing to donate their time to help others.
“Several ladies are survivors and that’s how they choose to give back is to put their time and talent to good use,” she said.
Common Threads member Kathy Harris said she learned that Memorial accepts donated items like the pillows when she had a cancer surgery earlier this year. She said the nurse navigator who helped her after her surgery introduced her to Sili.
 “So I talked it over with the group and we set up a work day,” Harris said. “They got mine (cancer) with one surgery, so this is a way for me to give back.”
Read more in the June 20 edition of the News.

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