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The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

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November 1, 2022

“From our heart to yours”

Fashion Design students sew seatbelt pillows for cancer patients

For cancer patients, some daily tasks become much more challenging or uncomfortable.

One of those can be driving. 

When chemotherapy is administered, it’s done via a port on the upper chest.  

So for many patients, the task of wearing a seatbelt can be uncomfortable as the belt presses against the port leading some people unable to wear their seatbelt properly.

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The solution: a seatbelt pillow, that patients can strap onto the seatbelt leading to a more comfortable drive.

“So after dealing with that this summer, I was given a pillow to go through mine,” SPED Evaluation Clerk Regina Booth said. “Oh, this pillow was such a blessing.” 

That blessing ignited a spark which led to a class project. 

“I thought I’m going to come to school and I’m going to talk to a Kristi Swinnea who does fashion design because we always, she always is doing a project,” Booth said. “And so I always go to her with something new. So I went to her and I said, hey, I have an idea. So I showed her the pillow and I said it has a zipper and she was like my class doesn’t even know how to sew yet.”

But that didn’t stop Fashion Design teacher Kristi Swinnea who quickly put the project into motion. 

“I’ve had students cutting out fabric. I’ve had other students putting in zippers,” Swinnea said. “The pillows have a zipper and then we’ve stuffed them with bamboo stuffing because it’s supposed to be cooler. Also the zipper allows for them to put an ice pack in there if needed. And then, and they can take some of the stuffing out to put an ice pack in, whatever they need to do.”

The project began in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but after some discussion it was decided to make it a year-long project. 

It says from our heart to yours, Liberty High School, Frisco, Texas,

— SPED Evaluation Clerk Regina Booth

“It’s important that it’s a year-long project because breast cancer doesn’t last for one month,” senior Michelle Monohan said. “It lasts for years and possibly decades, and possibly even after the cancer itself because you still have the memories of having the sickness.  Also just show support towards the community” 

Making the pillows has become more than a class project, with the work coming from the heart and stitched into the fabric. 

“It says from our heart to yours, Liberty High School, Frisco, Texas,” Booth said. “I wanted to do two hearts on it because it’s from Liberty High School, whoever’s making the pillow, they’re putting their heart into this and whoever’s receiving the pillow it affects them and it touches their heart.”

This story was originally published on Wingspan on November 3, 2023.