Friday, March 7, 2014

Leslie Charles: Chemo Bags for Team Mathias

Marketing Art Director Leslie Charles finds a cause worthy of dusting off the sewing machine (and her Storey colleagues can’t resist joining in). 

A while back I learned through Facebook about a twelve-year-old boy named Mathias Giordano. Diagnosed with osteosarcoma, Mathias has undergone many rounds of chemo and had one of his legs amputated. He didn’t like the bag of chemotherapy drugs he was hooked up to during his treatment (who could blame him?), so a friend created a sewn cover for him to place over the chemotherapy bag to add a little brightness to his treatment sessions. Thus, an idea formed: to make covers to hand out to other children undergoing chemotherapy. 

Mathias and his family live in Virginia, far away from North Adams, Massachusetts, yet when I learned about the “Chemo Bag Covers for Team Mathias” project, I knew it was something that not only I could participate in but that others at Storey would want to help with, too. It’s crafty and compassionate, all in one.

Mathias’s mom sent us labels and a template. Our fabrics came from many sources. Creative director Alethea Morrison brought some left over from Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard WondersEditor Pam Thompson gave two boxes full of fabric that had belonged to her mother. Editors Lisa Hiley and Gwen Steege, accountant Laurie St. Cyr, and senior publicist Alee Moncy not only donated fabric, they sewed a handful of bags each. A couple weeks later, voilร : 50 covers made! 

The tone of “Team Mathias” has always been one of positive community support. Working on this project was an easy and rewarding way to brighten treatment days for children, spread the upbeat outlook of Mathias and his team, and to tap into the feeling that comes from making something good for something bigger than ourselves.

Want to join in? This great blog post describes the process and provides a link to instructions for making the bags. You can also follow Team Mathias on Facebook.

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