A cancer diagnosis can turn your world upside down. It’s scary. It’s confusing. It’s something no one wants to go through. Cancer patients often sit for long periods of time in order to get life-saving infusions. As important as that is, it’s not always the most comfortable experience.
Jamie’s Wish Foundation hopes to change that for patients. It is a foundation dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those fighting cancer by providing a more healing and comfortable environment for those receiving infusions.
At the request of patients, Jamie’s Wish Foundation raises money to renovate infusion areas. The foundation was started in honor of Jamie Barkes Pursley. Jamie spent countless hours receiving chemotherapy infusions at Lawrence Memorial Hospital Oncology & Hematology Center in Lawrence, KS.
In 2011, when Jamie realized her life was coming to an end, her last wish was to improve the infusion suites where she was receiving cancer care. She wanted the rooms to be more comfortable, calming, relaxing and healing for patients and their families. The money was raised in record time and the project was complete one year and one day after Jamie’s passing.
Kelsy Schimmel is currently receiving treatment at Lawrence Memorial Hospital (LMH). “I describe the cancer center at LMH as, ‘the country club of chemo’. I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2013. I can’t express my feelings of gratitude and appreciation for the improvements that Jamie’s Wish Foundation has made to the infusion area at LMH. I have several friends and family members also battling cancer in nearby city’s and you couldn’t pay me to go anywhere else for treatment,” Schimmel said.
Schimmel believes passionately in the groups mission, “I truly believe I responded better to treatment because of the environment I was in. I’ve been in cancer centers where it felt like you were going in there to die and I’ve been in others where it felt like you are there to get better. Jamie’s Wish Foundation is trying to make infusion areas a place that’s conducive to healing and getting people better,” she said.
Chip Luerding, a family physician and cancer patient could not agree more. “Jamie’s Wish Foundation has motivated me to become more active and open regarding cancer in general and the needs of those patients currently undergoing treatment. It has challenged me to be less private regarding a very frightening diagnosis and provides me hope for the future of those cancer patients that will come after me,” Luerding said.
Luerding is currently undergoing treatment for Stage 3C Metastatic Melanoma. He is getting his treatments at The University of Kansas Cancer Center North. The same cancer center that Jamie’s Wish Foundation is currently raising money to improve. “Our latest project comes at the request of the late, Andy Tyhurst. Andy passed away in the summer of 2017. Before he died, he requested that we make the infusion area more comfortable and relaxing,” said Aimee Jackson Chadwick, Founder and President of Jamie’s Wish Foundation.
“We are honored to do this on behalf of Andy,” Chadwick said.
Jamie’s Wish Foundation has set out to raise over half million dollars to make Andy’s wish come true. “I know we’ll get there. We are determined to help Andy’s legacy live on just like we did for Jamie,” said Kelli Alldredge, Co-Founder and Vice President of Jamie’s Wish Foundation.
“There are so many things you can’t control when you’re diagnosed with cancer. The emotions, the side effects, the outcome. The environment where you receive treatment can be controlled. Jamie’s Wish Foundation is making that better for patients and giving them a more comfortable experience in the process,” Schimmel said.