MacAfee Road School Students Deliver Good Wishes To Breast Cancer Patients

A group of MacAfee Road Elementary School students represented their classmates Oct. 25 when they delivered about 200 hand-made cards to patients at the St. Peter’s University Hospital’s breast cancer center.

The students made the cards as part of the district’s observation of Breast Cancer Month.

The visit was made possible by MacAfee school nurse Titilayo Ashiavor, who worked on the project with school gym teacher Alyson Samarel.

“I wanted to have an impact, not just wear a pink shirt, but actually have an impact on the breast cancer patients, so I figured the kids would get engaged and make somebody happy and smile,” Ashiavor said.

Samarel said the idea came about as part of the district’s wellness committee, which likes to have events tied to whatever is bing observed during a particular month.

“This month is breast cancer, so TiTi reached out to the hospital to see if we could make cards for the breast cancer patients and deliver them,” she said.

Students in every class made cards, Samarel said, which were then delivered to the school nurse’s office.

Some students made the cards on their own, while some classes collaborated on one card, she said.

School principal Bill Grippo told the students that he wanted to “acknowledge you for being great, for caring. I had a brother that had breast cancer 25 years ago. So this is important.”

“This is about the future,” he said. “You see a brilliant doctor standing here, a beautiful facility, nurses, this is what you could walk into to make a difference when you graduate college.”

“The work you do in school today is your future,” Grippo said. “But more important, the character that you’re building today is your future.”

Dr. Kim Dixon, a breast specialist at the hospital, thanked the students for the cards.

“People think that doctors and nurses, they’re the ones that care for patients, and that’s true, we do care for patients,” she said. “But it’s not just doctors and nurses that care for patients, lots of other people help take care of patients and help make patients feel better, and you’re all doing that today by making these wonderful cards, and we’re so appreciative of that. Because even when you put just one little smile on a patient’s face to make them feel better, you’ve made a difference and you’ve made that patient feel so much better.”

“We’ve made great strides in breast cancer over the years,” she said. “Science has helped us because we have great treatments, but it’s still not an easy road for our patients, and they can still feel very sick during that course of their treatment, and these cards are going to be part of that, they’re going to make them feel better, too, so I really appreciate it.”

One of the students read her card aloud:



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