Watch CBS News

Meet the Pennsylvania woman making chemo care packages for her fellow cancer patients

How a Pennsylvania woman in the midst of cancer treatment is paying it forward, one bag at a time
How a Pennsylvania woman in the midst of cancer treatment is paying it forward, one bag at a time 03:03

WILLOW GROVE, Pa. (CBS) — Andrea Ross takes great pride in every single bag she prepares.

"There's some staple items I like to include, one of which is a blanket … socks, hats, scarves," she said.

The 35-year-old is undergoing chemotherapy after a recent gut-wrenching diagnosis of Stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"It started out with a cough that I didn't really think too much about," Ross said. "I thought it might have been seasonal allergies or asthma … got some tests done and it turns out I did have Hodgkin's lymphoma."

She's been chronicling her difficult journey on social media. She's also making sure other patients going through the same difficult journey are comfortable and prepared.

"One staple item is a card from me. It usually has a Wawa gift card in it, just to let somebody know I'm thinking about them," she said.

Ross affectionately calls the bags "chemo care packages." She started out bringing a bag every two weeks to her treatment appointments at Jefferson Hospital's Asplundh Cancer Pavilion in Willow Grove. 

Having so many people helping Ross on her own journey inspired her to start giving to others. 

"I wanted to do 12 bags and I think by the end of this we'll be able to do 30," she said.

Her village has stepped up, donating to her cause in a big way, helping her selflessly spread the love and care to others.

A woman receiving cancer treatment is seen talking to Andrea Ross, in a hospital room
Ross gives a care package to another patient. CBS News Philadelphia

"I received over $2,000 in donations, and I've been able to go out and buy the supplies needed on days that I'm feeling well enough," she said.

"I think it's a wonderful thing, especially coming from somebody who's going through cancer," said patient Shane Abney, who received a bag.

Ross is on the road to recovery.

"We received some good news at my last scans: no active cancer in my lymph nodes."

She has five more treatments, and she's standing on her unshakeable faith to carry her through, all while continuing to bring light and love to others, one chemo care package at a time.

"That's the biggest thing that I hope will be a takeaway, is they will feel my love," she said. "They will feel my light, and hopefully it will spark something in them to hopefully pay it forward."

Similar: Inspiring Delco woman with cystic fibrosis gives back at Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.