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  • Writer's pictureLisa Rousseau


Judy's Bags of Hope are made in memory of my foster mother, Judy Drinkhall. She was the most generous kind-hearted woman.

She laughed, she loved, she lived. She was kind, she loved with all her heart. She put your needs before hers. When your world seemed to be falling apart, she put it back together. When life was too much and you needed to cry, she was there with a shoulder to cry on to make you feel safe again. She made her home ours. She gave us a new start, a loving family. She taught us manners and family values. When life was hard, she was always there no matter what. If you needed a book to read, she had plenty to lend. She fought for what mattered most. She fought for us. She fought for her life and for her family. She was brave, she had courage and strength that I've never seen before. All that she had done and had been through has inspired me. She listened and she advised. She was a friend, a protector. She was my mother and I am so thankful and lucky to have had her.

Judy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. It was devastating to our family but it brought us closer and made us come together as a family. My sister and I went to every single chemotherapy session. Her chemotherapy sessions were eight hours long so we needed something to help us pass the time. We brought our laptops to catch up on our favorite TV shows, we brought books and read them out loud. We played endless games of Rumney and Go Fish, we wrote poems and reminisced over old memories. Chocolate was a must every session because what girl doesn't want chocolate when they're feeling blue? After a while we looked forward to the long drive to Dartmouth and that eight-hour chemo session, it became time well spent with our mother.

We lost our mother on November 9th, 2015 after a six year battle. She was the bravest, strongest woman. She was also the most generous and thoughtful person too. I'll never forget her last chemotherapy session. I had gone with her because it was an emotional day, we had just received some not so good news, but she never let that affect her. She was chatting with all the other patients, telling them it was going to be okay. On our way out of the hospital there was a women sitting on the side of the curb with her head down. My mom went up to her and put her hand on her shoulder and asked if she was okay. The women looked confused but smiled and said that my mom was so kind to ask but she was just tired. My mom smiled back and said she just wanted to make sure she was okay. That's who my mom was every single day and I try my hardest to pass on her kindness to the world.

I created Judy's Bags of Hope because my mom wanted to help other cancer patients. She had ideas and these are some of them. They are filled with items to help pass the time as well as items to help with the side effects of the chemotherapy.


What's Inside the Bags:


Ginger Chews & Ginger Tea: To help nausea from chemotherapy

Lemon Sour Drops: For dry mouth

Book & Magazine to help pass the time

Sudoku & Word Search Puzzles to help pass the time

Therapeutic Art Coloring Book & colored pencils to help pass the time

Notebook & Pen: Get your feelings out on paper, it helps me I hope it helps you. Don't be afraid to really express yourself no one else needs to read it but you. You could also use it to write down any important information you are getting from your doctor, also to write down any questions you have for your doctor/nurses

Lip Balm

Tissues

Lotion

Hand Sanitizer

Gum

Chocolate & Snacks to have during your chemotherapy sessions



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