Fourth-grade project lights up infusion center

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This might be a story about mothers and sons — one mother teaching her child the value of giving back to his community, another accepting support during her own son’s illness. It might also be about serendipity.

Liz Abram, business coordinator of the new Infusion Center in Plainfield, happened to be training at the Backus Infusion Center when 21-year-old Patrick Goebel was receiving the last of nine treatments for cancer. Patrick’s mother, Kathleen, happens to be Liz’s son Cole’s fourth-grade teacher at Plainfield Memorial School.

While Patrick was never alone during treatment, he and his mother know others often are, which can be lonely and frightening. When Liz asked if Cole and his classmates could create cards that could be given to patients like Patrick, Kathleen immediately said yes.

“It was a different project — I told the kids to think about how cheerful a card could be so they would have a personal connection,” Kathleen said. “The kids then brainstormed a list of greetings to include inside and they used craft supplies to make the outside.”

Nine-year-old Cole’s creation, for example, opens to read “You can get through this,” “I hope you feel better” and “You rock!”

One of the first to receive a card was Patrick.

“It was cool to see the cards because it’s definitely not the best part of your day,” he said of the treatments. “This could make your day.”

Kathleen said she and her students plan to continue creating cards for Liz to hand out to cancer patients and hopes they ease some of the physical and emotional burden of treatment.

“This opened my eyes to the needs in our community and I’m glad this can help the kids feel connected and learn to give back,” Liz said.

Plainfield infusion center makes debut

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute opened the Plainfield Infusion Center on April 11, offering 10 private, light-filled bays that include dedicated vital sign machines, televisions and access to Wi-Fi.

Located on the first floor of the Hartford HealthCare Health Center at 584 Norwich Road, Plainfield, behind the Plainfield Emergency Care Center, the Infusion Center is open to patients needing any type of intravenous hydration, chemotherapy, blood transfusions and iron infusions.

The facility is staffed by certified oncology nurses and oncologists, with a pharmacist for preparing medications.

The Plainfield Infusion Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 860.230.2836.

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