Cannon Hill Anglican College students, in collaboration with Zonta Club of Brisbane East, stitched up a storm to provide breast care cushions to help Mater hospital breast cancer patients recover after surgery.
In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month, more than 50 students became part of the college’s social justice committee and worked alongside Zonta Club of Brisbane East’s Ros Kinder, to sew the cushions and provide comfort to women in the post-operative phase of breast surgery.
The Zonta Club of Brisbane East’s secretary said the college was the only school to participate in service projects with the club, with cushions made for patients at two Mater hospitals in South Brisbane, and Mater Private Hospital Redland.
“Our partnership stemmed from one of our members having students at the college and has continued for the past two years,” Mrs Kinder said.
One of those who participated was 17-year-old Bella Cooper whose own grandmother also battled breast cancer which Bella said made this project “extra special” for her.
“While I was not yet born when she was first diagnosed, I have seen how strong she has become,” Bella said.
“I enjoy making the breast cushions as it allows me to contribute my skills, time and energy to a great cause, and provide support to people who need it.”
Mater Private Hospital Brisbane Clinical Nurse Consultant Ashleigh Mondolo said surgical scars were often tender in the post-operative phase of breast cancer treatment and swelling in the armpit was common.
Ms Mondolo described the breast care cushions as a gentle addition to recovery. She added that the cushions were a turning point for many breast cancer patients, helping them to feel more positive following mastectomies and protecting surgical incision areas during the healing process.
“My patients absolutely love them,” she said.
Mrs Kinder, of Manly West, said male and female students had been participating in the project for the past 12 months. Their efforts have, so far, contributed to the 5,500 cushions donated annually by Zonta Clubs to hospitals across Queensland.
Cannon Hill Anglican College social justice coordinator Marion Rutter said she was proud of the students who gave up their own time to help others in need.
“Many of the students and staff at the school have been impacted by breast cancer with friends and family diagnosed,” Ms Rutter said.
“The students who help make the cushions show compassion for others and work as a team which is really important.”