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Warm baths get mom of two through her pain


Medical science does so much, but it can’t do everything.

Ask Diana Sullivan. She is fighting her cervical cancer with all the tools you’d expect – radiation, chemotherapy and pain medication – with the help of her care team at the James E. Cary Cancer Center in Hannibal, MO.

She also uses a tool for her care that you might not expect – a bathtub – with the help of donors to the Blessing Foundation.

“I take warm baths to calm myself down and be able to relax enough so the pain medicine can do its job,” Diana explained.

“One day my pain could be sharp and stabbing,” said the 33-year-old mother of two. “The next day it could be just uncomfortable. The day following I could be fine and then the day after I could be in severe pain.”

Getting a warm bath to ease the pain has not been easy for Diana. At the time of diagnosis, the bathtub in her home was broken. Fortunately, Diana lives within walking distance of her mother’s home where the bathtub works. Unfortunately, even a short walk was difficult for her this past winter.

“Going outside into the cold makes the pain worse,” she explained.

Diana’s aunt began making phone calls to find a way to help.  One of her calls was to the Cary Cancer Center.  That’s where Amy Land, Social Services Coordinator, Hannibal Clinic, heard about Diana’s predicament.

“The way I looked at it, we had a cancer patient who needed to supplement their pain relief with something that had no side effects and could be used any time it was needed,” Amy explained.

“I reached out to the Blessing Foundation, thinking this would be a perfect blessing for Diana,” she concluded.

Amy was right. The Blessing Foundation raises, manages and disperses charitable donations for the needs of the health system, including unmet needs of patients that interfere with their treatment or recovery. Foundation donors paid for a new bathtub for Diana’s home. Warm hearts donated warm baths, you could say.

“I really want to thank them,” Diana said about Blessing Foundation donors. “One day I hope to be able to pay it back by helping someone else in need.”

To learn more about the Blessing Foundation, its donors and patients who have been helped, click here.