Pillow Walk

Heartfelt gift helps breast cancer patients

September 2010

On June 19, Necia Boone, PhD, presented 50 heart-shaped pillows to Holly Pederson, MD, Staff Physician in the Department of Breast Services within the Center for Specialized Women’s Health.

The occasion was the annual Breast Cancer 5K Walk benefiting the Northern Ohio Breast Cancer Coalition Fund.

Dr. Boone’s gift was one of gratitude and tribute. On the day of the walk, her sister, Brenda Zeigler, was undergoing her last chemotherapy treatment at Cleveland Clinic.

Prior to Ms. Zeigler’s surgery, she was given a heart-shaped pillow. “Watching my sister in a perilous condition as she selected a pillow brought tears to my eyes,” Dr. Boone says. “The special pillows were made by hospital volunteers and donated to Cleveland Clinic’s breast cancer patients. The pillows were designed to fit under a breast cancer patient’s arm, providing physical and emotional comfort.”

Her sister’s experience served as inspiration to Dr. Boone, Executive Director of Community Engagement and Business Development for Akron-based White Hat Management, the largest for-profit charter school operator in Ohio. Life Skills Carnegie, which is down the street from Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, is one of the schools in which Dr. Boone helps foster deeper collaboration between organizations in the area.

Several weeks before the Breast Cancer Walk, she determined that the staff and students at Life Skills Carnegie could help Cleveland Clinic breast cancer patients, too. One Friday afternoon, she carried her sewing machine into the building, set up a work station, and started sewing. Soon, she had a group of students and staff members talking, laughing and sewing pillows.

“This will be an annual project involving more students,” says Dr. Boone, who was pleased to present the pillows to Dr. Pederson. She’s also thrilled to report that her sister is “alive and doing fine.” And on behalf of the Breast Cancer 5K Walk Committee and her sister, she has made a $500 personal donation to the Center for Specialized Women’s Health.

To make an online gift supporting the Center for Specialized Women’s Health within the OB/GYN & Women’s Health Institute or any area of Cleveland Clinic, visit our secure giving site, or call Institutional Relations and Development at 216.444.1245 or toll-free at 800.223.2273, ext. 41245.

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