By Christine Constable:
Hearts for Healing was begun by Anne Manning at the start of her cancer journey. She heard how helpful these heart-shaped cushions could be for those who had recently had mastectomies. They can be tucked under the arm to relieve underarm pain, pressure on the wound and numbing nerve pain, both to aid healing and to give encouragement at a difficult time. They are perfect for resting, sleeping and travel and can be used to ease the pain experienced when wearing a seat belt after a mastectomy. She invited her friends Brenda Raven and Jane Libretto to help are make these hearts, which are given away, free of charge.
The cushions are made of 100% cotton, bought locally with a generous discount, and are machine washable. They are filled with a hypo-allergenic filling. They are, as their label says, ‘Made with Love’.
Sadly, Anne lost her fight against cancer, but not before hundreds of cushions had been provided to hospitals around the area, including Torbay where she was receiving treatment. Jane and Brenda promised to continue this worthwhile project and were joined by Bude’s Chris Constable. Prior to Covid-19, they were meeting together once a month for a ‘sewing session’, making 12-15 cushions which were supplied to Barnstaple and Treliske hospitals, and as gifts to anyone they heard of locally who was going through this treatment. Each year approximately 150-200 cushions are made and given away. During lockdown they have continued to sew the cushions, but separately, in their own homes and have been able to continue to supply the hospitals’ needs.
In the past there have been fund raising events to buy supplies to make the cushions, including an afternoon tea party. Recently a Just Giving page was set up. We would appreciate any donation, however small, to enable us to continue this worthwhile work. If you know of someone going through breast cancer who would benefit from one of these cushions then please make contact through the Hearts for Healing facebook page.