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Students make, donate heart-shaped pillows to breast cancer survivors

November 24, 2015

Students in a sustainable fashion class recently created heart-shaped pillows to donate to area women who have undergone breast cancer-related procedures.

Dr. Suzan Harkness, vice president for academic affairs, delivered dozens of the hand-painted silk pillows to Ellis Fischel Center in Columbia last week.

For Harkness, the project was personal. She remembers a similar pillow bringing her comfort—both physically and emotionally—after her lumpectomy less than two years ago.

The pillows are specifically designed to serve several purposes, Harkness told the class prior to delivering them.

The pillows fit under an arm to provide pain relief and protect against accidental bumps. They can be placed under an arm for comfort during chemotherapy appointments. For someone who has undergone a mastectomy, lumpectomy or biopsy, the pillows can be placed between a safety belt and the surgical site to provide comfort and protection.

“And they’re great to cuddle with,” Harkness said.

The project was also meaningful for students.

“It made me re-evaluate my life and made me grateful for my health,” said Bianca Fitzpatrick ’16. “I put love into making it.”

“It feels good just helping someone,” Whitney Dixson ’19 added.

Harkness included a note with the donations encouraging survivors and letting them know that Stephens women are thinking about them.

The Creating Sustainable Communities class also created pink dresses from recycled materials in October to support Breast Cancer Awareness month.

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