Hello, my name is Helen. I am the founder of the Cancer Care kit. My first introduction to cancer was 38 years ago. Since that time I have seen many changes in treatment and the development of new drugs. One thing that has not changed is the feeling of helplessness that patients and families experience when the diagnoses of cancer is given. Whether it be a parent, sibling, friend or child, the threat of this disease has a horrible impact. My personal experience has encompassed each one of these categories. I have experienced both the caregiver aspect and the nursing aspect. I have personally learned that the more information that I obtained, the more control I felt that I had. I have experienced the feeling of helplessness and I have a nursing degree. I cannot imagine the frustration that people feel when they do not have this background. The idea for this cancer care bag was developed over a period of many years while watching and treating patients with cancer and other acute illnesses. I have seen patients and parents buy a variety of items. They try to organize everything from medications to Doctor’s appointment. Parents and patients are constantly sharing ideas and trying to gather as much information as possible about the disease and the required care. The goal of this Tote bag is to give a basic tool that explains medical terms, treatment options, how to handle potential side effects of treatments, and how to stay organized at a time that is chaotic. There are also tips that I have gathered through my years of experience that may make some procedures a little less painful or a medication taste a little bit better. The Hanlen’s Happy Hearts care bags are approved and used by Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, Florida.
Hanlen’s Happy Hearts is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in Hollywood, Florida to help families who are fighting cancer. The concept of this bag was developed using the model of a diaper bag which is given to new parents to help them with the first couple months of their newborn’s life. Our bag works under a similar concept. There are more than 20 items included. Each of these items has a purpose which has been chosen specifically by Helen, an experienced oncology nurse. She has also included important tips and Web sites as resources.
Who we are
Hello; we are Hanlen’s Happy Hearts! Helen Hopkins (pictured on the left) & Hannah Bartlett (pictured on the right). Helen Hopkins BSN, RN, APON,member of ONS: 30 years of hospital experience adult, pediatric and neonate nursing. Hannah Bartlett, Graphic/Web Designer, Marketing and Event Planner.