This past February, family members of Tami Feek, rallied together in search of donations to do something special for cancer patients. It had become a goal of Amanda (Weaver) Crowley’s to organize the event in hopes that we could help others going through the same struggles that her beloved aunt Tami did.
In mid-February 2014, Tami was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, a rare form. She underwent two rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. In December, it was discovered that the cancer had spread to her vertebrae. She went through another round of radiation, with no success, so she started chemo again. She was traveling frequently to Bellevue for her treatments, as well as seeking care at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. After a long hard-fought battle, Tami passed away on Oct. 29, 2015.
Soon a Facebook event was created to help spread the word of Amanda’s mission. Her goal was to donate at least 10 bags in memory of her aunt Tami. A donation of $26 was asked for in order to purchase the bags from her “Thirty-One Gifts” business. Crowley would then fill the bags using her commission. There were several family members, friends and friends-of-friends who donated to the cause, breaking Crowley’s goal of 10 bags. Pam Scott even applied for $250 from Thrivent for Lutherans Action Team. After all of the donations had come in, Amanda was able purchase 60 bags, filled with items such as hand sanitizer, lotion, Biotene mouthwash, hard candy, socks, crossword puzzles, pens/pencils, Kleenex, Chapstick, blankets and a notebook with an inspirational quote handwritten on the inside. There were also bag tags, with Tami’s picture on them, greeting the patient, describing why they were receiving this special bag and who it was sponsored by. The family of Tami Feek was able to deliver 25 Chemo Care Bags to Village Pointe Cancer Center in Omaha, 25 bags to Bellevue Hospital Cancer Center and 10 bags to the Falls City Community Medical Center.
Crowley said that a number of thank you cards have started coming in, reminding them all of why it is so important to “pay it forward.”
Kathy H. of Papillion wrote, “After one of chemo sessions, I was sitting in my car, ready to go home when I saw this troop of women walking through the parking lot of the hospital. They were all lugging bags. I thought to myself, ‘I wonder who the fortunate people are who are receiving the bags?’ I found out at my next appointment that I was one of them-I keep the card with Tami’s picture on it in the bag and show it to everyone when I am telling the story of the bags.”
Amanda said the response was outstanding and that she expects next year’s numbers to be even bigger.
“From multiple communities and states, we came together as one, and got the job done! I can only imagine what next year’s numbers will look like,” she said.
To sponsor a bag, join the group “Chemo Care Bags In Memory of Tami Feek” on Facebook or contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or (660)605-1363.