Health & Medicine

Young cancer survivor delivers blankets to patients in treatment in Roseville

Volunteers deliver blankets to patients in Roseville

In her sixth year cancer-free, this 13-year-old young woman was the 2019 Love to Care month ambassador at Sutter Infusion Center in Roseville. On Tuesday, July 9, she delivered blankets and craft kits to cancer patients.
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In her sixth year cancer-free, this 13-year-old young woman was the 2019 Love to Care month ambassador at Sutter Infusion Center in Roseville. On Tuesday, July 9, she delivered blankets and craft kits to cancer patients.

In her sixth year cancer-free, a 13-year-old girl led the way at Sutter Infusion Center in Roseville on Tuesday morning. Emma Geiselman’s mission was simple but heartfelt: She delivered blankets and craft kits to patients battling cancer.

Emma smiled as she showed the contents of the craft kits patients would receive, with Crayola crayons and markers, clay and glitter pens. The blue-and-white blankets will help keep patients warm, a constant problem for patients receiving transfusions.

She was 3 when she was diagnosed in December of 2009 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare form of blood cancer that mainly affects children. Emma is now in remission, serving as a young ambassador for cancer survivors, her father Steve Geiselman said.

Steve Geiselman said it was his daughter’s initiative to participate in Subaru’s Love to Care blanket donations at Sutter. Just like it was her idea to promote and raise money for Pennies for Patients, a nationwide program by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to improve the quality of life of patients with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.

“She’s always been a fighter, she was never down about it . . . the whole time,” Geiselman said, as his daughter looked up and smiled. “Now she likes to go in and tell [patients] that it’s OK, ‘I survived.’”

Geiselman was the first child “Honored Hero” of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to participate in the event at Sutter since 2015, when the society was founded, according to Sutter Health’s spokesperson Gary Zavoral.

Lynnette Messex, the manager of Sutter’s Roseville infusion center, said the patients will not forget her kindness. While receiving infusion treatment, cancer patients often get cold, she said, and the hospital goes through hundreds of blankets every day to keep the patients warm.

“When we give [patients] these blankets, they bring them back with them for each of their appointments, and then they cover up with them when they come here,” Messex said. “A lot of times they are very very scared when they are coming in for their first treatment and it’s just like a nice little welcome to them.”

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Caroline Ghisolfi, from Stanford University, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and health care. She grew up in Milan, Italy.

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