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Maryland Cancer Survivor Pays It Forward, Sends More Than 1K Care Kits To Patients Battling Disease

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A Maryland cancer survivor is making it her mission to spread joy and hope at hospitals locally and across the country through a simple but powerful care kit.

"When I was admitted for my last treatment in March 2019, it was totally unexpected, I saw the care package," Sonia Su, the founder and executive director of Kits to Heart, recalled. "... It turns out it was from a former patient who had been treated at that very unit one year prior and was doing well again"

The gesture stuck with Su during her treatment and inspired the 27-year-old to pay it forward.

"That care package, just from that stranger, really motivated me, it reminded me that people, even strangers, are rooting for me and my recovery," she said.

Each package contains cancer treatment essentials created for patients and their caregivers. The kits are made by someone who has already been in their shoes.

"We include handwritten notes, handmade items such as friendship bracelets and crochet tote bags for groceries," Su said.

Since Su founded the nonprofit organization last May, it has donated more than 1,000 cancer care kits across the country, including to ten hospitals in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

"The Cancer Center is really grateful to Sonia and Kits to Heart for their efforts and their support and their kits are tremendously helpful for us and for our patients," said Brandon Costantino, the manager of the oncologist support program at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

Something as simple as a box can make a profound impact, he added.

"It's kind of a scary thing coming into a cancer center (and) starting a new treatment, and to have a nice kit and a feeling that someone is thinking about you at that moment...," he said.

Su plans to continue bringing smiles and solidarity to those affected by cancer one kit at a time.

"Anything that we can do during these times can really make a difference," she said.

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