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Patti Hadrava
Why I Volunteer


When I was diagnosed in 2006, I struggled on my own and was paralyzed with fear about my diagnosis. I did not have much support during my treatments and went online to find a group chat to help me get through this. One day when I went for her treatment, I was given a bag containing a heart pillow and other items. I was touched that someone took the time to care enough to help out a stranger.

​I now use my sewing talents to make heart pillows and quilts for others. I really wanted to volunteer and give back. The pillows are especially meaningful because after surgery many women find that the seat belt of their car will rub right where the stitches and scars are, irritating the spot and causing discomfort. The pillows, shaped like hearts, soften the weight of the belt and ease the irritation. Our amazing sewing group made 20 pillows their first year and now make up to 200 pillows and 30 quilts every year. Thriving Pink’s volunteer group, Stitches of Love, also gives out comfort bags with helpful items, and financial grants to help many others. I would say that the world and community around breast cancer has changed a lot in the last 15 years. And that is a very, very good thing.


This story was developed in partnership with @KLJ Studios in Woodland.

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