Junior Girl Scout Honors Late Grandfather with ‘Bags of Love’ Donation to McGlinn Cancer Institute

Patients at McGlinn Cancer Institute at Reading Hospital received a special delivery Friday from Junior Girl Scout Emily West, age 10, of Maryland. Working on her Jr. Bronze Award, West wanted a project that would honor her late grandfather, Craig Sands, who lost his battle with lung cancer in November 2020.

In coordination with McGlinn Cancer Institute and Reading Hospital Foundation, West created 127 “bags of love” for patients receiving chemotherapy.

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West worked with team members from McGlinn Cancer Institute and Reading Hospital Foundation to create a list of items to include in the bags. She and her mom created a wish list online and within two days she was receiving donations from all over the country, including many from Berks County.

Each bag includes hand sanitizer, hand lotion, tissues, sunscreen, gum, crackers, chips, pens, chapstick, and hard candies

“I am really thankful and excited for this to happen,” West said. “My PopPop was my best friend and I miss him. I wanted to do something that would help cancer patients. I had helped my mom put together handbags filled with personal care items for women who were homeless and/or leaving abusive relationships and I thought we could do something similar. I wanted the bags to go to patients at the McGlinn Cancer Center because that’s where my PopPop got the best care to help him with his fight against cancer. I am excited for my parents, grandmother, uncle, and aunt to be here too to help honor my PopPop.”

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In addition, the Reading Hospital Foundation also included a “Blanket of Hope” with each bag.

Michael Brown, MD, Medical Director of McGlinn Cancer Institute said “On behalf of everyone at McGlinn Cancer Institute I’d like to thank Emily for her donation in support of our patients. I know this will help put a smile on their faces every time they use something from the bag.”

“We are so grateful to the entire West family and were honored to be a part of their tribute to Mr. Sands,” said Katherine Thornton, President, Reading Hospital Foundation. “This donation is the perfect example of the impact we can make for our patients when we work together.”

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