Students at Cannon Hill Anglican College have been busy sewing bees, making hundreds of breast care cushions to help Mater hospital breast cancer patients recover after surgery.
More than 50 students, like 17-year-old Bella Cooper, are part of the college’s social justice committee, and work alongside Zonta Club of Brisbane East’s Ros Kinder, to provide comfort to women in the post-operative phase of breast surgery.
Mrs Kinder, the club’s secretary, said the college was the only school to participate in service projects with the Zonta Brisbane East Club, with cushions made for patients at two Mater hospitals in South Brisbane, and Mater Private Hospital Redland.
“Our partnership stemmed from one of our members having students at the college and has continued for the past two years,” she said.
For Bella, knowing her own grandmother has battled through breast cancer has made the project “extra special”.
“While I was not yet born when she was first diagnosed, I have seen how strong she has become,” Bella said.
“I enjoy making the breast cushions as it allows me to contribute my skills, time and energy to a great cause, and provide support to people who need it.”
Mater Private Hospital Brisbane Clinical Nurse Consultant Ashleigh Mondolo said surgical scars were often tender in the post-operative phase of breast cancer treatment, and swelling in the arm pit was common.
“The breast care cushions are a gentle edition to recovery - my patients absolutely love them,” Ms Mondolo said.
She said the cushions were a turning point for many breast cancer patients, helping them to feel more positive following mastectomies and protecting surgical incision areas during the healing process.
Mrs Kinder, of Manly West, said male and female students had been participating in the project for the past 12 months.
“They volunteer their time and, so far, have contributed to the 5500 cushions donated annually by Zonta Clubs to hospitals across Queensland,” she said.
Cannon Hill Anglican College social justice coordinator Marion Rutter said she was proud of the students who gave up their own time to help others in need.
“Many of the students and staff at the school have been impacted by breast cancer with friends and family diagnosed,” Ms Rutter said.
“The students who help make the cushions show compassion for others and work as a team which is really important.”