Mother and daughter donate rice bags for patients


NORWAY — While Shirley Savage of South Paris was going through chemotherapy, she had a heat-able rice bag to put around her shoulders. Five months into her treatment, she decided she wanted to give something back, and that rice bags were the way to go. She talked with her daughter, Cynthia Gurschick about her idea, and the two decided that if Savage bought the supplies, Gurschick would sew the bags.

At the beginning of February, after her last round of chemotherapy, Savage arrived at the office of Linda McSherry MS, RN, ANP-C, OCN, an adult nurse practitioner certified in oncology, from Oxford Hills Internal Medicine, with 40 rice bags to donate to the Chemotherapy Program. Some of the bags had lavender scent in them and all were made with a fleece fabric.

McSherry and Shelly Thorp, RN, said that the rice bags are being put in bags that the Maine Cancer Center gives to them to provide patients when they are first diagnosed. They said that the bags are a big hit with patients.

“She is very thoughtful. Shirley has been a prime example all through her diagnosis and treatment, she eats right and exercises. She has a generous spirit and a desire to share her hope and laughter with people,” Thorp said.

Savage, who works at Hebron Academy, speaks highly of everyone at Stephens Memorial Hospital and OHIM as well, “I love the hospital, and the people who work here and help others. I was determined to have my chemo right here. Now, I have friends who say they would come here because of my experience.”

Savage also plans to be a phone advocate to talk to people going through chemotherapy and offer support.