SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Pillow donation brings comfort to cancer patients

Thom Clapp ols.jpg
Thom Clapp, president of the Michael J. Lindall Foundation, unloads 180 pillows from the My Pillow company at the Hope Lodge in Rochester Wednesday morning. My Pillow donated the pillows following an initiative by Fraser Construction to support the lodge with other donations.
We are part of The Trust Project.

A donated mount of 180 soft pillows arrived at the Sandra J. Schulze American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Rochester on Wednesday, giving heart — and comfort — to the cancer patients staying at the residence.

Soft, plush pillows help when you return to bed after not feeling well at 3 a.m. — or when you're coming back from radiation, said Kim Nelson, of Grand Marais.

"Once you go through cancer, you realize that there's a lot of good hearts in the world," Nelson said as she looked at the pillows.

The pillows arrived at Hope Lodge through a chain of events triggered by Fraser Construction in Rochester.

Fraser, each year, divides its employees into teams and gives each team a pot of money to create "Give Back" projects.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hope Lodge manager Jammie McGuire said employees from Fraser called several weeks ago and asked if there was a particular need. Hope Lodge asked for DVD players. About 25 of those were dropped off, and the two Fraser teams had a little money left over.

They asked Hope Lodge what could be done with the remaining money and were told pillows were needed — but they must by hypoallergenic and washable.

The Fraser workers sought out My Pillow Inc., of Chanhassen, to see if the company would match their donation; they had enough money left to buy three pillows.

Fraser employee Maggie Alexander told about 40 Hope Lodge guests, their caregivers, volunteers and others gathered in the home-away-from-home's cafeteria Wednesday that she originally asked for just three pillows.

A donation gave Fraser enough money for four. So Alexander called My Pillow again, hoping My Pillow would match the new number.

"How many pillows do you need?" came the question from the other end of the line.

"Well, 180," she said.

"Why don't we just give you 180 pillows?" the man said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hope Lodge got enough pillows to replace pillows in every one of its 60 rooms. The pillows were donated by the Lindell Foundation, which was created by My Pillow inventor and CEO Mike Lindell.

"That's what keeps me going, is to help people," he said before the donation. "I just feel like I'm blessed. God's got my calling — to help people."

"It's remarkable, the generosity of everyone," said Fraser owner Rick Penz. "And it's awesome to see."

Fraser employee Dan "Jake" Jacobs said Fraser had installed footings, sewer lines and water lines at Hope Lodge during its most-recent expansion. So it was an easy decision to pick Hope Lodge as his team's focus.

Over the coming few days, each Hope Lodge guest has a specified time to exchange his or her room pillow with the new, donated My Pillow.

But Nelson won't need one, at least for very long.

That's because she celebrated a milestone Wednesday. She finished her treatment for endometrial cancer and will be heading home to Grand Marais.

What to read next
A small county in Tennessee for much of the past year has reported the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in Tennessee and one of the highest in the South. If only it were true. The rate in Meigs County was artificially inflated by a data error that distorted most of Tennessee’s county-level vaccination rates by attributing tens of thousands of doses to the wrong counties, according to a KHN review of Tennessee’s vaccination data. When the Tennessee Department of Health quietly corrected the error last month, county rates shifted overnight, and Meigs County’s rate of fully vaccinated people dropped from 65% to 43%, which is below the state average and middling in the rural South.
It is important to be aware if you begin to experience a feeling of fullness in your ears, increased pain or more intense itching, or begin to have hearing complications.
The key is to continually remind children and teens that they are cared for, and to help them get back into the structure and familiar activities that give them a feeling of accomplishment. That's the advice of two experts from Mayo Clinic.
"Minding Our Elders" columnist Carol Bradley Bursack says there are times when a decision has to be made on behalf of a family member.