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Cards geared to raise cancer patient spirits

When Menahga resident Chris Thornbury was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the summer of 2005, it quickly became apparent how important the support of family and friends would be to her recovery.

Card
The cards, which include a message from cancer survivors on the back, are available at several Park Rapids businesses. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the cards will be donated to local treatment sites.

When Menahga resident Chris Thornbury was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the summer of 2005, it quickly became apparent how important the support of family and friends would be to her recovery.

In 2006, Mary Lamphear, a friend who now lives in New York, experienced six friends being diagnosed with breast cancer within a four-month period of time. She found it difficult to know just what to say to comfort them throughout their course of treatment.

As a result of their experiences, these two friends have been working on a product over the past year, and have just introduced their concept - "Staying the Course" - to the market.

"Staying the Course" is a line of cards designed to provide support and comfort to people who are facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment schedule.

Each set includes six cards intended to be sent to coincide with a treatment regimen (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.). It lets the recipient know he or she is not alone - that someone is in their corner supporting and accompanying them through this challenging time, Thornbury explains.

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"The idea behind our cards was inspired by my dear friend, Jeanne, who sent me a card timed to arrive the day of every chemotherapy session," Thornbury said. "Each card Jeanne sent was accompanied by a cheerful sentiment and positive message.

"While many people remembered me with cards of well wishes, only Jeanne's arrived like clockwork, addressing my cancer issue in a straightforward and tender way. It made a huge difference knowing someone cared enough to follow me through my course of treatment," she said.

Everyone can use support during a struggle with cancer, Thornbury said. "These cards deal with the situation directly and with compassion. While there are many cards on the market that say 'get well soon' or 'thinking of you,' there are few cards, if any, designed to accompany the recipient through their course of treatment. And to our knowledge, there is none that come packaged specifically for this purpose.

"The cards provide words when it is difficult to express feelings," Thornbury said.

Each one also includes a message of encouragement from a cancer survivor, people of all ages who have survived all types and stages of cancers, lending inspiration to those newly diagnosed.

The cards, she said, are reasonably priced to allow everyone the opportunity to be of comfort to those who are important to them. They are now available in the Park Rapids area, and can be found locally at Amish Oak and Americana Furnishings and Brigid's House, or online at the company's Web site, www.dock-talk.com .

Thornbury and Lamphear say their goal is to help people on both sides of the fence, and they believe these short messages do just that. The company Web site shows the variety of cards currently available.

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