A group of volunteers gathered on Saturday, Nov. 23, to fill tote bags for cancer patients. Chemo Comfort Totes is an annual outreach opportunity for local residents to pack totes filled with comfort essentials for those currently undergoing chemotherapy. The bags are then delivered to hospitals in Kearney, North Platte, Gothenburg and Cozad.
For one of the volunteers filling totes Saturday, the program has special meaning. Alex Gurciullo of Maxwell was diagnosed with liver cancer in October 2018. Testing revealed the young woman required a liver transplant, and on May 20, 2019, she went through the six-hour surgery to get a new liver.
“My best friend's mom was the first one to turn in her packet to be tested, and she was a match. The transplant team said that hardly ever happens,” said Alex. After the transplant she spent three months at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha recovering. She said she is now liver disease-free and cancer-free.
Thanks to donations from individuals and businesses, a total of 240 comfort totes will be provided to cancer patients this year. The Chemo Comfort Totes project was formed by Lyndi Miller and Mary Harbur after Harbur was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.