Helping to pass the timePublished 10:05am Monday, April 15, 2013
When you’re sitting in a chair for one to seven hours while receiving chemotherapy, something to pass the time is quite a blessing.
And patients at the Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea received a blessing of five iPads from Kiester for a Cure. Clarks Grove resident Lynn Waltz uses an iPad each time she’s at the Cancer Center.
“It makes the time go faster,” Waltz said.
Her daughter, Angie Butler, has come to each of her mom’s appointments and often the two each use an iPad and play games against each other.
“They’re nice to have,” Butler said.
Waltz is being treated for breast cancer and had previously been getting chemotherapy to treat cervical cancer. She’s been in and out of the Cancer Center for about a year. She has received treatment elsewhere and said no where else she has been offered iPads, so it’s a nice perk that the Albert Lea medical campus has.
“It helps keep your mind off what you’re doing,” Waltz said.
The medical oncology supervisor for the Cancer Center in Albert Lea, Kellie Thompson, said patients use the iPads for a variety of things. Some play games, some read, some surf the Internet and others use it for education.
“It’s something different than watching TV or looking at a magazine or a book,” Thompson said.
The staff at the Cancer Center also don’t mind helping people who don’t know how to use iPads. They’ll set up the game or app for some older patients, but those patients often find that the device is easier to use than they think.
Thompson said patients often don’t feel physically sick so they don’t feel like sleeping. And there is a TV available, but it’s in the shared room. The iPads are an individual device that patients can use for whatever they’d like.
Kiester for a Cure President Rachel Lohberger and Treasurer Linda Willaby said the group’s focus is to provide physical things and money to local people who are affected by cancer. Kiester for a Cure donates to Relay for Life and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, but many donations they make are to help local families with gift cards for gas and groceries. The group also started working with the Naeve Health Care Foundation to find specific items the medical center would like to have.
“We’re trying to focus more on the immediate needs of the community,” Willaby said.
That’s how they came up with donating five iPads and the special chair for the mammography unit. The group hopes to continue to work with the medical center to be able to fund special items that will directly help patients who have cancer.
“We’re here to help people,” Willaby said.
Kiester for a Cure holds its annual two-day event in February, but there are other events throughout the year. This summer at 7 p.m. June 21 is a 5k run/walk that supports the group’s scholarship fund. Then the first Saturday each November they hold a soup supper that also supports the scholarship fund. All events and registration forms for those events can be found at the group’s website: kiesterforacure.org.
Also on that website is a nomination form where people can tell Kiester for a Cure about their friend or family member who has cancer. Lohberger said she hopes people use this function because so far they’ve had to rely on word of mouth to find out about local people who need help.
“We’d like individuals to nominate others and explain their circumstances,” Lohberger said. “We try and keep it local because that’s where the money comes from.”