The last thing you want to hear is that a friend or family member has cancer because there’s nothing you can do to help, fix or change the diagnosis. At the start of year someone very close to me found out that they had stage four renal cancer, which you can read more about on Andy’s blog, Cancer Does Not Discriminate. I’m in complete awe at how well he’s done so far and the progress he’s made. Watching him go through this, understanding the difficult decisions he’s had to make had been really rough but he’s pushed through it and tackled each day like a complete champion.
So at a time when there was nothing I could do or say, I reverted back to doing what I do best.. I got crafty.
The logo below was something that I found on Instagram, which I based on the hashtag he had been posting on his photos. I designing it up in Corel Draw, imported it into ScanNCut Canvas online software and then cut it out on a vinyl sticker with my Brother CM900 ScanNCut.
After his friends and family members saw the mug and how easy it was to create they had the idea to stick the logo on their surfboards for when they’re all out surfing again. This seemed like a pretty cool idea and a great way to support him because they’re all such good friends because of their combine love of surfing. So I’ll purchase a roll of vinyl sticker media and cut it out in 30cm x 30cm sheets to fit in the ScanNCut. I might even make them a few shirts while I’m at it!
When he was going into hospital I also couldn’t help myself and purchased a Koala Embroidery Buddy and digitized the cancer logo and “Care Bear” to go underneath. And to all you Aussies out there, I know koalas aren’t bears (lol) but I was trying to put some humour into it, so we can let this one slide, just this once (wink, wink).
Andy also told me that every time a nurse came in and saw the bear sitting on the table, they had to do a double take and then had a chuckle to themselves after reading the embroidery. After the week passed they also commented that other patients going through the same thing, in the same frame of mind, would probably appreciate a bear like this. I’m pretty sure if there was a way to stock up their gift shop with these types of gifts, they would have been all for it.
On the last day he posted this photo with the comment, “Finally out of hospital. Thanks to this little bear and the hospital staff looking after me.” So there you go! It really did help 🙂
For anyone else thinking of gifts they can create for a loved one, who may be going through a difficult time or even having to go into hospital, a personalised jigsaw puzzle is another neat idea. Especially if they’re going to be recovering at home for an extended amount of time. I ended up stealing a photo of Andy surfing and had it made into a 500 piece puzzle which we’re still trying to complete, three months later! He wants to frame it when we’ve finally put it all together.
I had to add a little note on it to congratulate him on his surgery and this toy was a token of what he was having removed. Again, it would depend on the persons sense of humour and the situation but it made him laugh. Maybe more so at how weird I was to have even found these toys.
But….what I’ve really learnt from this whole experience is that no gift on earth can ever compare to actually being there for someone. Showing someone you care and making sure they know that they don’t have to go through it alone is priceless.
If you, or someone you know is going through something similar, check out Andy’s blog or feel free to comment below. This is a horrible disease that affects so many people worldwide.