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Go Bags

Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund provides each new cancer family with a bag to meet their immediate needs.  The bags are given to the families by the oncology social workers as they are the first point of contact after diagnosis. We deliver 12-15 bags to the social workers each month.

The day after Genre was diagnosed with leukemia, a dear friend of mine gave me what she called a ‘to go bag’.  In that bag was everything that I would need during a hospitalization.  She said that I should leave the bag packed. When Genre wasn’t feeling well and we needed to get to the hospital, I could just grab that bag and go.  Little did I know on that day that we would use that bag more than 80 times in eight months.  Sadly, my friend knew another family who had lived through pediatric leukemia. The bag had everything I needed from shampoo/conditioner and toothpaste to gum and notepad/pens.

At the moment when you first hear the words, “Your child has cancer,” you can’t think.  There is no way you can possibly think of yourself and what you will need over the next several weeks.   You do not know that you will be sick in your stomach for the next week. You can’t know that you will have a continual headache for days. You don’t realize that you won’t sleep for many nights and you will need something to keep busy in the middle of the night so that you don’t lose your mind.  You just can’t comprehend the severity of the pain and fear you are about to experience, and then continue to live through.

The bag my friend brought me helped me not only through those first two weeks, but every stay thereafter.  Each time my son was ill and needed to go to the hospital, I was scared to death….but never once did I need to think about what I needed to take for myself.  That burden was taken away for me by the” to go” bag my friend had prepared.  I hope Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund can do that for every mom (or dad) who deals with this nightmare.  We give one of these ‘to go’ bags to every newly diagnosed family at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Below is a list of the items we use and the approximate sizes.  Please email if you have any questions or if you’d like to collect items for this part of our ministry.

Each bag will have the following items:

  • Shampoo and conditioner – approximately 8 – 12 oz size (purchasing 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner is helpful)

  • Hair brush

  • Pony tail holders

  • Lotion – approximately 8 oz size

  • Disposable razors

  • Body wash – approx. 8- 12 oz size.

  • Deodorant for Dad

  • Deodorant for Mom

  • Toothpaste (brand name please J) – approx. 4 oz. size

  • Three toothbrushes per bag

  • Dental floss

  • Finger nail file

  • Nail clippers

  • Tweezers

  • Small Tums

  • Small Tylenol

  • Lip balm

  • Small feminine products both tampons and pads

  • Steno sized notebooks

  • Post it notes

  • Pens

  • Highlighters

  • Gum and/or mints

  • Deck of cards

  • Adult socks

  • One gallon size baggies – to put the shampoo/conditioner in – incase the liquids would leak

  • One quart size baggies

  • Snack size baggies – for the smaller items

  • Misc. coupons as they are donated

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