How it Started!
My name is Robin Redfern and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2009. I was very sick during my treatment and struggled physically and mentally. I felt defeated and I wanted to give up. It was Christmas time and I had just announced to my husband while I was getting chemo that I could no longer continue the treatments and I was giving up. I did not have an ounce of fight left in me. At that very moment a women turned the corner and presented me with a gift bag. Her presence was not a coincidence. She was sent to me at the exact moment when I needed her and she impressed upon me to NEVER give up. I knew in my heart that if and when I got better that I would pay it forward. We started in 2010 giving out gift bags to women receiving chemotherapy hoping it would offer them love and hope. Last year, 2018 we handed out 100 bags to patients at Magee Women's Hospital and at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Beaver. This past March we reached Non Profit Status under the name Bags & Blessings. We are in the process of organizing our first fundraiser, a fun walk/run 5K being held at Thursday’s Restaurant in Bridgewater on September 14, 2019.
To offer hope and love to cancer patients who are in treatment. To show them God's love and to remind them they don't fight alone.
Why are we called Bags & Blessings?
Nine years ago I wanted to pay it forward and offer a gift bag to someone who was ready to "quit" and didn’t have any fight left. So I gathered what I could and gave out 12 gift bags. As time went on, I learned more about health and wellness and more about cancer. I knew I needed to change what we put in the bags. So I went to the Health Hut and talked with Kelly. We went through the store and focused on items that cancer patients need. In 2012 we were able to give out bags that contained all natural organic products and it has continued to grow every year. We are very proud to present a bag of healthy products to help patients combat side effects of treatment.
Funds raised from our first annual 5K will help to ensue that we can continue to help cancer patients all year.