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    Heartfelt Thanks to the American Women of Surrey

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    submitted by: Faith Boettger  

    The American Women of Surrey (AWS) have donated their time and energy to the Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital Breast Cancer Unit through their contribution of 125 heart-shaped pillows to bring comfort to breast cancer patients.

    The Heart Pillow project was recently launched by AWS with the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) and the American Women’s Club of London. The pillow is designed and shaped to fit perfectly supporting the armpit, to ease the pain and increase the comfort for the patient after surgery as it is not unusual to experience tension where there is swelling of the lymph nodes underneath the arm. AWS held "sew, stuff and package days" over two days in one of the members house to produce the pillows. The pillows were funded by selling specially designed heart cards and donations from Mail Boxes, Etc, Weybridge; Fabric Warehouse, Weybridge and John Lewis of Kingston.

    The pillows were originally discovered in the United States at the Erlanger Breast Resource Center and were brought to Denmark by Nancy Ruth Friis-Jensenl. In 2006, she inaugurated the project at The American Women’s Club in Denmark, FAWCO, and Pink Tribute, Danish a fundraising group for breast cancer projects. In 2009, numerous FAWCO clubs around the world are involved in the project.

    Said Regina Santos, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Lead Breast Care Nurse: "We’re happy that the American Women of Surrey have chosen our hospital for this donation. It will bring cheer and comfort to our patients, after having has a breast cancer operation. The heart shape of the pillow shows the love and kindness AWS members have and both our patients and staff at the Breast Care Unit are grateful for this gift."

    Said Peggy Strode, AWS President: "We are delighted to be involved with the Breast Care Unit at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital. Directly or indirectly, we have all been touched by breast cancer. We are thankful to the hospital for giving us the opportunity to make a difference to women in our new home country."

    People who want to know more about the heart pillows or would like to make one themselves, can visit http://www.heartpillow.dk for more information and a pattern for the pillows.


    Editorial notes:

    1. Ashford & St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust is a medium sized district general hospital service operating from two sites - Ashford near Staines and St. Peter’s near Chertsey.  The Trust employs just over 3,000 staff (excluding contractors such as catering) making it one of the largest employers in the local area after Heathrow Airport.     Ashford & St. Peter’s is at Level 2 on the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (a risk management scheme for insurance) and is a ‘two ticks’ employer with ‘Practice Plus’ status under the Department of Health’s Improving Working Lives (www.doh.gov.uk/iwl) initiative.   Further information about the Trust can be found at www.ashfordstpeters.nhs.uk.
    2. The American Women of Surrey www.awsurrey.org is a not for profit club founded in 1975 to provide a welcoming atmosphere for expatriates and their families living in Surrey. The Club offers over 400 members – representing almost 40 nationalities - social, cultural and philanthropic opportunities to enhance their expatriate experience. AWS is an active member of both the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) and Federation of International Women's Associations of London (FIWAL).
    3. Media enquiries to the Trust Press Office on 01932-722163 or email or to Faith Boettger, Vice-President of Communications, The American Women of Surrey on: 01372 463668 or at:
    4. Further information about the Trust can be found on our website at www.ashfordstpeters.nhs.uk.
    5. Further information on AWS can be found on their website at: www.awsurrey.org


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