IN THE COMMUNITY
Q & A With Chemo Care Package Project Leader – Victoria DeRuosi
The North Kingstown Marketing Company is proud to report and publish positive news about our North Kingstown community. I have had the good fortune of meeting so many outstanding community leaders that live and work in our amazing town of North Kingstown. Recently, I wrote about a North Kingstown High School senior, Victoria DeRuosi, who has championed a very important cause and has everyone in North Kingstown excited to get on board. Her senior project is called Chemo Care Packages and after reading about this incredibly generous and heartfelt project, I decided to reach out to the project’s leader, Victoria DeRuosi to get her insight on the project, its purpose, and where she maybe headed in the future. Here is an excerpt from our conversation.
1. I wanted to take a minute to congratulate you on a very blessed and inspiring senior project. I have known your parents and family for years and have always known you to be outstanding people in my life and the life of my sons. This project is just so important to let everyone and anyone know about. I look forward to writing about and promoting your project. So, how did you decide on this particular cause?
I chose to create Chemo Care Packages for my senior project because I wanted to help people in our community. I am going to college for nursing but did not want to wait until then to start helping people. I came up with an effective way to help aid some of the terrible side effects that chemotherapy patients have to go through – Chemo Care Packages. Every item used in Chemo Care Packages is used to soothe an ailment of chemotherapy and provide comfort to patients. When I was brainstorming for my senior project in October, which happens to be breast cancer awareness month, I observed all of the successful cancer research organizations. I realized I didn’t want to donate money for research. I wanted to help people with all types of cancer that were already sick and in need of support in South County.
2. Will you be delivering the packages personally to South County Hospital?
I have had the great pleasure of meeting Oncology Care Nurse Susan Haberle at South County Hospital. I cannot distribute the packages due to hospital policy, therefore Mrs. Haberle kindly agreed to distribute the packages appropriately.
3. Is this a national effort?
There are ideas on the internet of people that have made chemo care packages for loved ones. To my knowledge, this is a not a national effort that I am aware of. I came up with this idea when brainstorming how I can help cancer patients without being a nurse yet.
4. What do you think it will mean to these patients who don’t have strong support systems to receive a wonderful care package such as this?
I hope that these patients without a strong support system will know that with receiving a care package comes the message that the community of North Kingstown is enthusiastically cheering them on. I had an initial goal of 20 care packages and to raise $200 to buy any items that were not sufficiently donated. I’m so happy to report that the community has already gone above and beyond with generosity towards this project. At this rate I have raised enough donations to make approximately 30 care packages and I have raised $345. I think that this initial success of how rapidly the community jumped into action to support patients at South County Hospital speaks for itself about how many caring people we have in North Kingstown. I know the patients will deeply appreciate their thoughtfulness.
5. Tell me about the involvement of JW Graham/Yes! Gallery and the scarves? How did that relationship come about?
When I officially promoted my Chemo Care Package project via Facebook, I shared it to the “Our Town North Kingstown” page to raise awareness of the donation process. Shortly after this, the extremely generous owner of JW Graham of Wickford, Julie Beebe, messaged me asking if I would be open to receiving 100 scarves for my project. I enthusiastically accepted this offer. The scarf company loved the idea so much, that they added 20 extra scarves. Every care package will have one of these bright and cheerful scarves provided by the wonderful Ms. Beebe, and the extras will be donated to South County Hospital’s cancer care center. Since Ms. Beebe’s involvement, the project’s promotion has sky rocked and sparked many more generous individuals for new donation ideas. I can’t thank Ms. Beebe and all of my North Kingstown community leaders enough for their involvement. I can’t wait to share the final results of the journey of supporting the community with everybody who has helped this project become so successful.
6. Is this a field that you foresee going into when you go to college?
I have been accepted into Sacred Heart University’s School of Nursing which is where I plan to attend in the fall. I am thrilled to be able to have the background of Chemo Care Packages going into the program. I am excited to learn the necessary knowledge to continue to support the community and care for the sick in my future career.
To learn more about this project and get involved, go the official Facebook page – Chemo Care Packages
– to learn how you can get involved.