CancerCare campaign: Angel pillows help cancer patients

June Baker with her breast cancer pillow
June Baker with her breast cancer pillow

For June Baker it was a complete shock when she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

But in between treatments, she discovered ‘angel pillows’ which set June off on a journey where with the help of others, she has made the lives of cancer sufferers and survivors a lot more comfortable.

Members of Bare and District WI with the angel pillows. Tricia Heath (second from left)from 13 The Warehouse  donated materials such as ribbons, materials and stuffing for the angel pillows which were made by members of the WI.

Members of Bare and District WI with the angel pillows. Tricia Heath (second from left)from 13 The Warehouse donated materials such as ribbons, materials and stuffing for the angel pillows which were made by members of the WI.

June, 76, of Ellwood Avenue, Morecambe, who has been a member of Bare and District WI for three years, said: “I was between treatments and I was looking at a magazinein which a lady had had breast cancer and her friend had made her a little heart pillow with ribbons on and called it an angel pillow. The pillow helps relieve pain or pressure for women who have had a mastectomy.

“I contacted her and said I would give a donation to the local hospice if she would let me have the pattern.

“I went back to the WI in January and talked to them and said will you make some.

“I showed them the pillow and they all thought it was a brilliant idea. I asked for a couple and got 52.

From left: Tricia Heath from 13 The Warehouse, Janet Hemingway from Bare and District WI, June Baker,and front left: Andrea Partridge, volunteer and engagement co-ordinator from CancerCare, with volunteer Sarah Drake receiving the pillows which are distributed in hospitals.

From left: Tricia Heath from 13 The Warehouse, Janet Hemingway from Bare and District WI, June Baker,and front left: Andrea Partridge, volunteer and engagement co-ordinator from CancerCare, with volunteer Sarah Drake receiving the pillows which are distributed in hospitals.

“It is a simple idea but with a big impact. It’s so simple there is nothing to it.

“13 The Warehouse on Queen Street donated materials, ribbons and stuffing for the pillows.

“I showed the pillow to the girls at CancerCare there and they said could we have some - so we gave them 52. They were a bit gobsmacked.”

The pillows made by members of the WI have now been distributed to CancerCare, St John’s Hospice, and hospitals in Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow and are given to patients .

June, married to Peter, 78, with three grown up children, said: “I had a single mastectomy which was a shock. CancerCare have just been absolutely wonderful, nothing is too much.

It is a lifelong service. It’s a marvellous system and it’s all run by volunteers. My husband Peter loves going.

“CancerCare runs such a vital service and not many people know about it.

“My first mammogram after surgery was clear but I have four years to go to be given the all clear.

“The cancer diagnosis was a shock for the whole family, you don’t think it will happen to you but when it does you are one of millions.”

The Lancaster Guardian CancerCare Counts campaign aims to raise cash for CancerCare and awareness of the charity.

There are many ways you can help including by making a donation. Text CCAR31 to 70070 with the amount you wish to donate – £1-£5 or £10 – or donate at cancercare.org.uk/donate . Alternatively you can 
send a cheque made payable to CancerCare North Lancashire & South Lakeland.

If you wish to contact CancerCare call 01524 381820, email tct@cancercare.org.uk, send a message on Facebook at ‘CancerCareCharity’ or tweet to @CancerCarelocal.