MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Former Larchmont resident Anne Marie Paolucci, a two-time cancer survivor, said one of the hardest parts of being sick was undergoing chemotherapy.
And so, when she was well, she decided to share her knowledge of the grueling process by creating Chemo Comfort, which provides kits filled with products and information meant to ease the cancer odyssey.
Kits are filled with a variety of items to help manage nausea, mouth sores and hair loss, along with“feel good” products such as a sleep cap, warm socks, meditation CD, book, journal and helpful hints from Paolucci herself about combatting the side effects of chemo.
"I didn’t realize how valuable this was until a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer," said Paolucci, who now lives in Manhattan. "Before she began chemotherapy, I gave her what I called a 'chemo starter kit' to help prepare her. She and her family were thrilled with the kit and I realized the significance of sharing what I had learned."
That was in 2005 following Paolucci's second round of cancer treatments. Since then, the company has distributed approximately 3,500 kits, approximately 70 percent of which are donated through partner organizations.
Paolucci, who grew up in Mount Vernon and moved to Larchmont when she was 11, said Chemo Comfort has a three-tiered program to distribute kits to cancer patients. Kits are donated through partner cancer organizations; subsidized kits are available to other cancer patients for a minimal donation; and there is a gift kit program.
The company has so far partnered with 10 organizations to donate kits to cancer patients with limited funds in the Greater New York area.
With October being breast cancer awareness month, the organization is in full swing, preparing for its "Cocktails for a Cause" fundraising event Oct. 9 to 18.
Through a lot of hard work and effort, Paolucci and her all-volunteer staff has enrolled numerous bars across New York City, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester to create signature drinks at select eateries, the proceeds of which will benefit Chemo Comfort (go here for details).
Bars in Larchmont/Mamaroneck include:
- Bar Harbor , 181 E Boston Post Rd, (914) 630-7167
- Molly Spillane’s , 211 Mamaroneck Ave., (914) 899-3130
- Halftime Beverage ,139 Hoyt Ave, (914) 341-1666; (ask about their growlers)
- Vintage 1891 Kitchen , 2098 Boston Post Rd., Larchmont, (914) 834-9463
Go to www.chemocomfort.org/ for more information.
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