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Girl makes care bags for cancer patients after watching her grandpa's experience with chemo

'She says he was one of her best friends and he was there for everything. We just want to keep it going and do grandpa proud.'

Girl makes care bags for cancer patients after watching her grandpa's experience with chemo
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

A young New Yorker is on a mission to make chemotherapy a little less miserable for cancer patients in her community. Sophie Enderton of Newfane, New York, was inspired to start making "Sophie's chemo bags" after seeing her late grandfather, Terry Enderton, undergo chemotherapy following a pancreatic cancer diagnosis last October. "She saw him kind of struggling and losing his hair and getting tired and just having to sit at chemo," Sophie's mom, Jillian Enderton, told Good Morning America. "I think his chemo was two or three hours long and he was saying how many people were there just sitting around and she wanted to do something to help him and other chemo patients."


Wanting the make the experience a little better for her grandpa and other chemo patients, Sophie came up with a plan. She enlisted the help of her parents and maternal grandparents to help bring her vision to life. They started off by researching chemo-friendly care package ideas on Pinterest. Armed with a list of things she could include in "Sophie's chemo bags,"  Sophie and her grandparents went shopping for comforting items, like blankets, pillows, cozy socks, soup bowls, pre-made soups, mints and ginger candies. Later, Sophie added games—playing cards and checkers sets—to help chemo patients pass time while waiting.


Even Sophie's great-grandmother joined the initiative, knitting several homemade blankets for the first set of "Sophie's chemo bags." Soon, word spread and donations started flowing in. "We received a lot of donations from people in the community, family and friends, so she's able to put a little bit more in there and have more extra money to do it again in December. She wants to do it again at Christmas also," Enderton said. Sophie made a total of ten bags for her first set of donations to patients at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York.


The very first bag from the lot went to none other than her beloved grandpa Terry. "He was super proud of her and the work she was doing and wanting to help others," Enderton recalled. "Very proud grandpa." Although her grandfather is now no more, Sophie is making sure to carry on what she started in honor of his memory. "He passed away in December after a short battle of pancreatic cancer," Enderton shared. "His birthday's at the end of March and we are scheduled to go up actually on his birthday and drop more bags off."


For the next round of chemo bags, Sophie is including 5 more bags specifically curated for young cancer patients. The inspiring young girl's 39-year-old mom revealed that the chemo bags project seems to be supporting Sophie through the grieving process. "She's putting her energy into something else so that's helping her, knowing that she is helping others who are going through the same thing. She's actually flattered by all the attention. She's like, 'I just wanted to help people,'" Enderton said. According to the proud mom, her daughter and father-in-law shared a special bond. Terry used to pick her up to and from school in his red Corvette and attend all her soccer and softball games. "She just loves the time they really spent together. She says he was one of her best friends and he was there for everything," she said. "We just want to keep it going and do grandpa proud."

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