Mississippi Strong: Caring Shirts project for cancer patients

Modified shirts make receiving treatment easier for cancer patients
Updated: Jan. 19, 2020 at 10:10 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Members of a Bovina church are working to make life easier for cancer patients.

The group gathers to create what they call Caring Shirts, and the shirts are designed with snaps around the seams for easy access to any ports or other medication that will be administered to cancer patients.

The idea started out as a way to help a fellow church member who had a broken hip.

Katherine Oldenburg modified underwear for the injured member that included snaps along the seams, so he could easily get in and out of them.

The design of the modified clothing advanced once the Oldenburg family was dealing with a life-changing diagnosis.

After going to the doctor for what she assumed what food poisoning, Oldenburg’s granddaughter Dani, learned she was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma in 2019 and had to begin an aggressive chemotherapy treatment plan.

Dani received chemotherapy 24 hours a day for 5 days straight.

She had a picc line inserted into her arm and said it could not be removed due to contamination concerns.

Dani said the picc line made it very difficult to change clothes and she wasn’t a fan wearing the hospital gown that exposed her backside.

That’s where Dani’s co-worker Alicia Turner stepped in, Turner and her other co-workers donated money to purchase materials for the shirts and donated the remaining funds to Dani.

After successfully raising enough money, Turner and Katherine began working together to make Dani’s shirts, and from there the project grew.

“I sat at the hospital every day and I watched Dani as she wore the shirts and how they helped her,” Katherine said. “God just put it on my heart that there had to be something we could do at the Bovina Baptist Church.”

A group of Bovina Baptist Church members get together to assemble the shirts, altering the seams and attaching snap buttons to them for the cancer patients who need them.

The Caring Shirts project has expanded out of the State of Mississippi, the group has sent shirts to others in 36 states, as well as Canada and Australia.

The group is also working to aid children diagnosed with Mucopolysaccharidosis, also known as Hurler Syndrome; a debilitating, life-threatening condition.

In 2019, the group made 289 shirts through the months of July and December.

This year, they’ve already completed 60 and are working on getting another 80 shipped off soon.

“It makes us feel good about what we’re doing and we’re proud of what we’re doing,” Katherine said. “I hope it continues to grow. I don’t know what we’ll do, but we’ll get the shirts out.”

Click here for more information Caring Shirts project or call Bovina Baptist Church at 601-636-0682.

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