10-year-old makes chemo comfort bags for patients after seeing grandfather fight cancer
[Feb 16, 2022: Cortney Moore]
Sophie Enderton, 10, and her family banded together to make and donate care packages for chemotherapy patients in Buffalo, New York, over the holiday season. (CREDIT: Jillian Enderton)
Buffalo, NY - A thoughtful 10-year-old girl is dedicating her time to crafting "chemo comfort bags" for hospital patients after seeing her grandfather battle pancreatic cancer.
Sophie Enderton of Niagara County said that she decided she wanted to brighten the days of chemotherapy patients shortly after her grandfather – Terry – explained what the treatment is and why it’s challenging for people.
Sophie learned of Terry’s diagnosis in October 2021 and set out to make comfort bags for chemo patients over the holiday season.
Sophie Enderton (left) and her grandfather Terry (right) shared a special bond. That bond led the 10-year-old to start a ‘chemo comfort bag’ initiative after she learned her grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. (CREDIT: Jillian Enderton)
Sophie Enderton (left) and her grandfather Terry (right) shared a special bond. That bond led the 10-year-old to start a ‘chemo comfort bag’ initiative after she learned her grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. (Jillian Enderton)
"My husband and I are so proud that Sophie wanted to give back," Sophie’s mother, Jillian Enderton, told reporters, in a phone interview. "She saw others struggling, and she wanted to be a change and help them."
In December, Sophie and her family donated 10 comfort bags to chemo patients at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is the same hospital grandpa Terry received treatment in Buffalo, New York.
The Endertons are currently putting together comfort bags with a new goal of delivering 20 bags to pediatric and adult cancer patients by the end of March – in honor of Terry’s birthday.
"Sophie and her grandpa were super close, and I think this helps her to stay close to him now that he's passed away," Jillian said, noting that he died on Dec. 15, 2021.
Community members have donated money and items to Sophie’s comfort bag project and this time the fifth-grader hopes to add cards and other personalized touches to the care packages.
"I’ve received thank you notes, but I never knew who the bags went to," Sophie told reporters.
Sophie Enderton's ‘chemo comfort bags’ are filled with items that are meant to enhance comfort, including blankets, small pillows, games, word searches, cozy socks and mitts. (CREDIT: Jillian Enderton)
One of the notes came from a patient and another note came from Roswell Park, according to Jillian.
When asked how it feels to see that her comfort bags are making a difference in people’s lives, Sophie said, "It feels so nice."
Sophie would like to continue her chemo comfort bag initiative and is considering a future where she works with nonprofits and helps raise money for important causes.
Sophie Enderton and her family are currently putting together chemo comfort bags with a new goal of delivering 20 bags to pediatric and adult cancer patients by March 28 – in honor of what would've been grandpa Terry’s 72nd birthday. (CREDIT: Jillian Enderton)
"She likes to be in charge. So, she'll be good at that," Jillian told reporters. "I'm part of a few nonprofit committees in our community. So maybe, hopefully, she wanted to follow in my footsteps a little bit. I don't think I was as aware as she is of what's going on."
A memory that Sophie will always hold close to her heart involves long car rides in her grandfather’s red Corvette.
"He would pick her up from school in it," Jillian said. "Sophie loved seeing him waiting for her."
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Note: Materials provided above by Cortney Moore. Content may be edited for style and length.
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