Earlier this year we, The Hummingbird Project, was nominated by Cindy Jacques from The Floorshow for Qualico's "Random Act of Kindness" award. To our surprise and excitement we were selected and received a donation in the amount of $1000.00. So unbelievably awesome!!
Thank you so much to you Cindy, The Floorshow, and to Qualico for this amazing and generous gift. Your support will help us reach more people and bring a smile to those living with cancer.
Central Plains Cancer Services has partnered with The Hummingbird Project to help put a smile on the faces of cancer patients during a difficult time in their lives.
Kari Klassen founded the project after she was diagnosed with breast cancer last September.
"It was the most scared I've been," says Klassen of beginning her chemotherapy treatment. "[The nurses], they kind of go through everything that's going to happen, everything you're probably going to feel, all your side-effects, all your potential side-effects, and here's a list of everything that you can use to help. [...] So anyway, we were sitting there thinking 'I guess we're going shopping.' because we had none of this stuff at home."
She explains this was how she came up with the idea for the project, which presents gift bags to chemotherapy patients at the beginning of their treatment.
"So when people go through this, and the nurses explain the side-effects, here's everything for you to get you started," explains Klassen, adding it also lets people know that they're not alone.
CPCS received 100 gift bags to distribute in the Central Region to kickoff the partnership. CPCS Executive Director Sharilyn Knox says their role is to distribute the first 100 gift bags and contribute to filling future bags.
The bags include items such as lotion, soothing tea and painted inspirational rocks. Klassen says The Hummingbird Project has distributed just over 300 gift bags to chemotherapy patients around the province.
You can learn more about the Hummingbird Project by visiting their website.
"It was an honour to recognize the very courageous and compassionate efforts of Kari Klassen, creator of the Hummingbird Project and her husband Dallas in my Private Members Statement. Kari created the Hummingbird Project to help bring comfort to cancer patients like herself who face a very difficult and emotionally confusing time after receiving a cancer diagnosis. The Hummingbird Project has distributed over 200 care packages that include the needed items to start chemotherapy across Manitoba. Thank-you Kari and Dallas for being so caring and generous and for helping others Seek the Beauty each Day."
You can watch Dr Alan Lagimodiere's speech here that he gave while the house was in session at the Manitoba Legislative Assembly.
Our interview with the Selkirk Journal just came out. This was when we were giving out our first bags to the Selkirk Cancer Care! So exciting...
Hey everyone! Check out my interview with the Selkirk Record, page 2! The online version is available at www.selkirkrecord.ca and the paper version I believe is distributed tomorrow. Great article, thank you Lindsey @selkirkrecord for the great interview and helping to share our story! ❤️
Please share!! ❤️
Project Hummingbird delivered it's first 20 bags this morning to the Selkirk Cancer Care Center. We were met by the Mayor of Selkirk, Larry Johannson and his wife Charlotte. The Selkirk Journal also came to hear our story which will be shared in next week’s addition.
Was a bit of an emotional morning and a few tears were shed as we chatted and shared stories of others affected by this horrible disease. One thing is for sure, Larry’s commitment and generosity is certainly a reflection of the Selkirk community. It was honor to have him there today. ❤️
An East Selkirk woman who's battling cancer is creating care packages for others starting chemotherapy, giving them the little things she didn't know she'd need during treatment — and a little comfort on the side.
Kari Klassen has breast cancer and recently finished her second round of chemotherapy. When she learned she'd be given the treatment, she was also given a laundry list of items she'd need.
"You need things like nail hardener, because my nails are going to get soft, and soft-bristled toothbrushes, because my gums are going to likely bleed, and they do," she said. "Chemo dries you out completely, so hand lotion, Chapstick — all these things that I never would have thought of."
Now Klassen and her husband Dallas are gathering dozens of those items and creating care packages for other patients in an initiative they're calling the Hummingbird Project.
"No one needs to have to worry about these little things when they're going through that on the first day [of chemotherapy]," Klassen said. "It's our way of just helping out to kind of ease that and bring a little bit of comfort on the first day."
So far, the pair has created about 20 packages. Klassen hopes to distribute 1,000 of the packages this year to first-time chemotherapy patients in Selkirk, about 35 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
The packages also include painted rocks, donated by painters through a Facebook group called Winnipeg Rocks. It's a nod to Klassen's dad, who recently died following his own battle with cancer.
"He had a courage rock, which he held all the time," she said.
"To have something like that in these bags is awesome for me because it brings back a lot of memories for myself, and I can't think of a better way to help people that day."
Klassen chose the hummingbird name because the birds symbolize healing and hope.
"They go great distances to seek the sweetest nectar in the flowers, so it's a reminder for us to live our best day and to seek the beauty in each day — which is what we hope that this can bring to somebody."
Klassen has been overwhelmed by community support for the project. Small businesses have offered to donate goods and friends have called, wanting to know how they can help.
"I had no idea that in such a short time it would be this already," she said.
"And it's so heartwarming for me. I cannot wait to just get out there and start delivering these bags."
With files from Shannah-Lee Vidal CBC