Chemo Cargo

Chemo Cargo Provide first time chemotherapy patients with a package of personal care and comfort items to ease the stress and anxiety of treatment.
Purpose: provide first time chemotherapy patients with a portable package of personal care and comfort items to ease the stress and anxiety of treatment.
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Operating as usual

08/21/2020

Many of you already know the story of why I founded Chemo Cargo, and how it’s about paying forward the kindness I received during my own treatment. There were two people instrumental in my decision to found CC. I learned late last night that one of those two people died earlier this week, after her third occurrence of cancer.

My heart is heavy. Kim leaves a big hole on this earth. Her kindness was far-reaching. Thousands of people received our care packages, because she sent me one so long ago.

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may not come. Live today as well as you are able.

06/05/2020

Chemo Cargo has been serving the Stateline for 10 years. Thousands of patients have received totes full of comfort and care items.

It's time to change. Beloit Cancer Center and SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center are both creating their own versions of our program, tying them into their teaching. We're happy and excited that chemo patients will continue to have these types of resources available for the foreseeable future.

Chemo Cargo will scale back. We will no longer provide totes to the local hospitals. Our website will be revised, and will feature our valuable resource list. There will also be a downloadable pdf of the resource book we've included in our totes.

It is our hope you will continue to support chemotherapy patients in the Stateline by joining forces with our friends at the Stateline health systems.

Thank you for your support over the past decade. You've made a difference in thousands of lives!

#motivation
04/08/2020

#motivation

03/13/2020

Ok, so I am one of those people with a compromised immune system. My doctor’s office has instructed me to stay out of crowds as much as possible.

To be clear, I am not panicking, but I do need to listen to the advice my health care professionals give me.

Therefore, Chemo Cargo volunteer night for Monday, March 16th is canceled. I apologize for the inconvenience.

02/17/2020

Volunteer evening for Monday, February 17th is canceled. I’m sorry for any inconvenience.

01/20/2020

Volunteer night tonight starting at 6 pm. Help us make greeting cards and port pillows!

Thank you to the Rockton Lions Club for helping stuff bags for chemo patients!
01/18/2020

Thank you to the Rockton Lions Club for helping stuff bags for chemo patients!

Tonight for our meeting our club participated in a service project. We met at Chemo Cargo in Roscoe and made bags that are distributed to cancer patients to use during their chemotherapy.

If you would like to help them out they meet the third Monday of each month at 6 pm for a packing party. If you’d like more information on what they do or how you can help please see www.chemocargo.org

11/06/2019

If you have too much Halloween candy left over, Chemo Cargo could use it for our bags. I’ll be here until 2 pm today, or message me to set up a time for drop off. 🙂

10/21/2019

We've noticed decreased participation on volunteer nights over the past few months, and many people have told us Thursdays are not good for them. Maybe it's time to change it up a bit! Please take our poll and let us know what you think: https://forms.gle/DMRsg6hhsxh5MZR56

I'm at Thermo Fisher Scientific this afternoon, where employees are making greeting cards for chemo patients. They are a...
10/03/2019

I'm at Thermo Fisher Scientific this afternoon, where employees are making greeting cards for chemo patients. They are also donating playing cards, lip balm, mouthwash, and lotion. This is the same company that has donated the fantastic Nalgene bottles in our bags for the past few years. We're grateful for their support. Our area is fortunate to have this caring company!

09/19/2019

Volunteer night tonight! Packing bags starts at 6pm. If you'd like to make cards or help with port pillows, we're here now!

09/07/2019

We're running low on hand sanitizer. It's a pretty common promo item. Anyone know any companies that could donate some travel/trial size bottles of this stuff? 300 - 400 bottles would get us through the end of the year.

08/14/2019

Tomorrow is the 3rd Thursday of the month, so it’s volunteer day! Chemo Cargo will open at 1pm for anyone who wants to come early to make cards. Stocking shelves, bag filling, etc starts at 6 pm. I’ll be locking the doors at 8 pm. Looking forward to seeing our dedicated volunteers!

Lazy delivery person keeps dumping 6 papers at a time in front of Chemo Cargo. I've called the Rockford Register Star as...
08/02/2019

Lazy delivery person keeps dumping 6 papers at a time in front of Chemo Cargo. I've called the Rockford Register Star asking them to stop this delivery. They don't care. I didn't subscribe. I consider it littering at this point. That garbage can is full of 18 papers from the past 3 weeks. #RockfordRegisterStar #inconsiderate #littering #wasteofadvertisingdollars

07/17/2019

Thursday July 18 is volunteer night! We won’t be packing totes. We have candy to put into snack baggies, paper to cut, and as always, we’ll have tables set up for card making.

05/15/2019

We still have over 100 totes packed, so tomorrow’s volunteer night will be focused on card making.

05/06/2019

Card making on Thurs, May 16th, from 1pm to 8 pm.

Thanks to our volunteers, we have 187 totes ready to go!
04/19/2019

Thanks to our volunteers, we have 187 totes ready to go!

04/11/2019

Card making on Friday, April 12th in the afternoon. The door will be unlocked at 1 pm.

Tomorrow evening is volunteer night again. We have plenty of bags packed, so we'll be making cards. If that's not your t...
02/20/2019

Tomorrow evening is volunteer night again. We have plenty of bags packed, so we'll be making cards. If that's not your thing, we'll see you next month!

We will be open tomorrow afternoon (2/8) from 1 pm to 4 pm for card making. Join us if you'd like!
02/07/2019

We will be open tomorrow afternoon (2/8) from 1 pm to 4 pm for card making. Join us if you'd like!

Austin spent time with us during the past two volunteer nights. Here's his article!
01/25/2019
Beloit Daily News

Austin spent time with us during the past two volunteer nights. Here's his article!

See how Chemo Cargo looks to keep helping Stateline Area residents in their fight against cancer. Nearly a decade on, the group is still going strong.

We were proud to have a skater on the ice for Chemo Cargo during the Have a Skate With Bob event last Saturday. Bob Klem...
12/07/2018
Hockey benefit games raise awareness for pancreatic cancer

We were proud to have a skater on the ice for Chemo Cargo during the Have a Skate With Bob event last Saturday. Bob Klem supported us, and we miss him.

The 'Have a Skate with Bob' Foundation has raised more than $100k since 2007.

12/05/2018

No one will be in the shop/office Thursday, 12/6 or Friday 12/7. Sorry for any inconvenience.

11/23/2018

From now until December 22nd, if you stop in to Share Serendipity during store hours and make cards for Chemo patients, you'll be entered into a drawing for a hot chocolate goodies gift basket!

Store hours: Thurs & Fri, 10 am - 5 pm, Sat 10 am - 2 pm

11/08/2018

We finished counting out the items we received from the Harlem Federation of Teachers last week:

365 packs of facial tissue
106 decks of cards
465 mechanical pencils
221 packs of gum
345 pens
106 tubes of lip balm
111 bottles of hand sanitizer
852 ounces of hard candy

THANK YOU!!!! #SpreadKindness

This is just one of the 10 boxes the Harlem Federation of Teachers just dropped off at Chemo Cargo! Thank you so much! #...
11/02/2018

This is just one of the 10 boxes the Harlem Federation of Teachers just dropped off at Chemo Cargo! Thank you so much! #SpreadKindness

10/18/2018

It's volunteer night tonight! Our shelves are still full of packed bags, so we will have extra tables set up for making cards. If you want to help but don't want to make cards, we could use a couple people to cut paper, or cut material for port pillows.

If you're in the Stateline and need some good, ready made meals, check out Food 4 Fuel. It's owned by people who truly c...
10/12/2018
Food 4 Fuel – Real Food | Real Fresh | Real Fast

If you're in the Stateline and need some good, ready made meals, check out Food 4 Fuel. It's owned by people who truly care about our community.

Welcome   Real Food | Real Fresh | Real Fast #25by2025 We want to help Rockford or a surrounding town become a top 25 HEALTHIEST Place to live by 2025 Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Food4Fuel1 Email us at [email protected]   Thanks for your order, we look forward to serving you on yo...

08/25/2018
Velcro Brand

For all the volunteers who have made port pillows for us. I hope it makes you smile!

And now a message from our Velcro Companies legal team (this is what happens when you let them take over marketing.) #dontsayvelcro

We received 90 baggies full of candy today. Thank you, Nan & Bill!
08/24/2018

We received 90 baggies full of candy today. Thank you, Nan & Bill!

Laurie Moller dropped off more hats today. Our volunteers have made and brought us 74 hats so far this week. Thank you s...
08/10/2018

Laurie Moller dropped off more hats today. Our volunteers have made and brought us 74 hats so far this week. Thank you so much!

A visitor this morning dropped off 40 handmade cards in memory of Kari Kollmansberger. The cards are beautiful, and I'm ...
08/09/2018

A visitor this morning dropped off 40 handmade cards in memory of Kari Kollmansberger. The cards are beautiful, and I'm sure our patients will love them.

Purchase with purpose. Amazon donates to Chemo Cargo NFP when you shop for back to school supplies at smile.amazon.com.
08/09/2018

Purchase with purpose. Amazon donates to Chemo Cargo NFP when you shop for back to school supplies at smile.amazon.com.

08/01/2018
Bangor Maine Police Department

Long, but worth the read.

"19 Days"

She called a couple of weeks ago- I didn't call her back. The latest message indicated she understood that I was a busy guy and that she wanted to try me again. She asked that I please return her call.

Her name was not familiar to me, but I jotted it down and listened to her phone number- twice- before deleting her pleasant sounding voicemail. She went to the bottom of a list of five names. I would call her back after the morning meeting.

It irked me that I had not written it down the first time she called. I didn't recall the name, and there was the chance that I haphazardly smacked the button I refer to as “Old number 7” which is a magical device that deletes voicemails- sometimes unintentionally- before I listen to them.

I searched around in the crevices of my mind to determine if I was supposed to know her name. I came up blank, like a black slab of slate with nary a stick of chalk in sight; I could only picture the faded lines of other messages left and erased before. I had never heard of her- maybe she was selling something or maybe she had been given my name from someone else- my suspicion was validated when she picked up.

It was remarkable that she was upbeat when she answered- she told me that she had intermittently followed the page, mentioned a few specific posts I had written, and told me that folks all over the country followed the page. She was complimentary and told me that several folks in a supportive chat-room had urged her to call “TC, the Facebook guy at the Bangor Police Department.”

I was flattered, but that was just before I was floored. It is rare that I am lost for words- ask around.

Much time had passed since she initially called; today was day #19 since her son had despondently called a friend, secured his belt tightly around his own neck, and intentionally slumped to the floor and hanged himself until he was dead.

My mouth waited for my voice to catch up. I only said, “I’m so sorry.”

I can recall and deliver hundreds of jokes, I can share a story for about any specific lesson I want to relay, but the words I delivered felt like a trickle from a kinked green garden hose while trying to single-handedly extinguish the inferno of Hell itself.

She continued an upbeat delivery, but I could hear the tears of a mother being held back by a woman who wanted answers from the guy she was told might be able to help in some small way.

No pressure. None at all.

I believe we are placed in specific places, at specific times, for specific purposes. I also believe that no matter how big of a failure we think we are, it matters not, it has no bearing on our ability to be used for one of those specific purposes. It’s cool if you don’t believe in things like that- but you’ll never prove me wrong.

Her son, a successful individual, was addicted to opiates, extremely depressed, and she told me she had no idea about any of it. None.

She lives five hours away from where he made his home, she shared that the person who was on the phone line with her son when he died failed to call help for him, even after hearing the belt snap and stop his descent to the floor. The person later went to another individual’s home, picked them up, and then they drove together to discover her son’s body. Only then did they notify emergency services.

This, rightfully, was perplexing to a law-abiding mother of several. I gave her my opinion, shared my experiences with suicidal individuals, and schooled her slightly on my personal opinion about the self-centeredness of many in our society. I gave her several plausible reasons why someone might not make the call at the time when it was needed the most.

She intently listened, questioned, commented, and sounded more and more relieved as our conversation dragged on.

I explained toxicology tests and the length of time it takes to get the results back. I told her what I expected her son’s toxicology test to look like when she got the paperwork in about nine months- and incidentally- that it would seem like years for the next 9 months to pass.

I cautioned for her to expect the results to look like a cocktail of drugs which made no sense to anyone but the person who might have been taking those drugs. I was confident that she would never feel like she knew enough. I commended her on trying to be as informed as possible.

In other words, I did nothing to fix it, but it was possible that I could mitigate a few of the unanswered questions she had. These would be, incidentally, questions she would have forever.

We determined, together, that we would meet in the future, put our heads together, and try to do something for someone who is just like her son. I know she feels the need to do something else, I should help if I can.

She said while she had spoken to the officer who investigated her son’s death, he had been far too busy to explain the things we had talked about. I shared with her that there have been times when I was, more than likely, exactly like that officer. I refused pass judgement, but I could determine to do better today. She understood exactly what I was saying.

She said she was a little sad that she had to be told to reach out to me by people who followed our page in other states and countries when she lived less than ten miles from Bangor at that very moment.

I think that is possibly the most positive thing I learned; people from far away had told a woman, so very close, just to reach out and ask some questions. I almost completely screwed that up. But, referring back to what I wholeheartedly believe, the time came pass for me to be at a specific place for a specific purpose.

I told you so.

About an hour after our chat, I called her back to tell her that we should speak in early September, she agreed. I asked if I could write about our conversation, maybe just to make someone else who might be in her son’s position aware that there are other options, she was so happy for me to share her story.

She had just picked fresh blueberries, made a pie, and was delivering it to a homeless shelter. She said she did it because she could. She related to me that the conversation had made her feel so much better.

I told her I was going to call the article-“19 Days.” I apologized for taking so long to call her back, but that I was glad it was today.

She stopped and fell silent for a moment and remarked that in 19 more days another son would be getting married, so we were able to speak exactly in the middle of a very tough time. She said that her oldest was to have been the best man in that wedding.

I fell silent.

She said after she hung up from our talk, she had a long cry and set to work on her pie, now she was driving to deliver it.

I confided that she was not alone in her post phone call activities. Well, except I don’t bake, I just tell stories.

It took 19 days to be in a specific place, at a specific time, because no matter how big a failure a person might think they are- it has no bearing on their ability to be used for a specific purpose. I appreciated her help.

Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.

TC
07/31/2018

Address

5069 Edgemere Ct
Roscoe, IL
61073

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Comments

Caitlynn Greve and I will be there tonight with another Arbonne donation!! 😃