Texas Community

Carley’s Closet Provides Comfort Items to Teen, Young Adult Cancer Patients

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
12/18/14  12:19 AM PST
Blankets and more for cancer patinents

By Susan Schrock for the Star-Telegram

Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 15, Samantha Daggett remembers how something as simple as a fuzzy pair of socks could make her hospital stay more comfortable.

So on her way to work Tuesday, Daggett dropped off three sets of cozy socks and a warm blanket at the Rutledge Foundation’s holiday donation drive at Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth in hopes of bringing a bit of happiness to a teen fighting cancer now.

“My hope is they can focus a little more on their battle instead of focusing on what their friends are going to think about them. That’s the hardest part about being an adolescent,” said Daggett, a community relations coordinator at the hospital. “You are so worried about your hair falling out and you are so worried about all these other things that come along with cancer.”

Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in adolescents and young adults from ages 15 to 39, according to the National Cancer Institute. Each year, about 70,000 in this age group are diagnosed with cancer in the United States.

Besides providing comfort items to teen and young adult cancer patients at local hospitals through its Carley’s Closet initiative, the Fort Worth-based nonprofit Rutledge Foundation is also funding research and development of new immune-based and targeted therapies designed to cure aggressive cancers with fewer long-term health consequences for patients.

“Chemotherapy and radiation causes secondary cancers, heart failure, infertility and a myriad of other things,” said President Laura Rutledge, whos daughter Carley was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 15. “We are giving them way too much toxicity. These are young adults. They have their whole lives ahead of them. The side effects for the rest of their life are enormous.”