For a child, there is only one thing enjoyable about going to the hospital for cancer treatments.
After every needle poke, spinal tap or surgical incision, the young cancer patients at the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Children’s Center get to select bandages from a special book. If they’re lucky, they’ll choose from a wide array of kid-friendly adhesive bandages featuring bright colors and the likes of SpongeBob Squarepants.
But there’s only one book, and its selection is often depleted.
Alyssa Klebasko has run into this problem during her numerous visits to Hopkins. The 7-year-old is battling leukemia, but is now ready to take on the Band-Aid book challenge.
Alyssa is working with her mother, Gretchen, on a “Band-Aid” drive over the next month in the hopes that no child will have to go without a cheerful bandage. Local schools and businesses are collecting bandages to ensure that Hopkins will be able to circulate multiple books throughout its children’s cancer wing.
“There’s always a demand for the Band-Aid book,” Gretchen Klebasko said. “It’s the fun ones that the kids like. It’s such a small thing, but it brings so much joy to these children.”
Gretchen and Alyssa began circulating the idea for the drive just last week, suggesting it as a tie-in for National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. A fellow cancer patient, Bella, had launched a similar effort in Florida.
Gretchen blogged about it and was soon shopping with friends at Target and clearing the shelves of fun and unique bandages.
Immediately, the Piney Orchard MOMS club was on board, along with the School of the Incarnation and local girl scout and boy scout troops. Business including Hops N’ Vines have also set up boxes for donations.
Gretchen Klebasko said that if the drive is successful, they’ll consider working to create more books for other parts of the Hopkins childrens’ wing, and possibly donating to other hospitals in the area.
If you’d like to donate kid-friendly bandages or are a business willing to serve as a collection spot, email Gretchen Klebasko at email@example.com.