When Sabrina Mayhew was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, she was confident doctors would care for her medical needs, but she knew that with such a diagnosis also comes emotional pain. While recovering from a double mastectomy, someone gave her a heart-shaped pillow.
“I was so touched by the gesture. It was such a wonderful and practical gift, and it lifted my spirits,” Mayhew recalls. “With pain pumps, drainage tubes, surgery incisions, and bandages, finding a comfortable position was extremely challenging. The pillow truly improved my recovery and was invaluable as I healed from my breast cancer treatments.”
Sabrina says her first reaction to learning she had cancer was deep sorrow and grief, but over time she has come to see the diagnosis as a turning point in her life. “Change is never easy, but I began to learn that my struggles and pain would help me grow and become much stronger,” she told me recently.
She got involved in breast cancer advocacy groups and created Angel Pillows. She is now working with other breast cancer survivors to make the heart-shaped pillows that gave her so much comfort and is now distributing these to treatment facilities like Botsford Cancer Center. She has gotten several groups involved including the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Lions Women’s Association, Gilda’s Club, and the Michigan Cancer Coalition.
In late December, Sabrina and Maria Lyzen, RN, president of the Michigan Breast Cancer Coalition, visited Botsford Cancer Center, bringing 40 angel pillows. Each pillow includes a handwritten note of encouragement from a survivor. The pillows will be given to Botsford breast cancer patients to support their recovery.
The Angel Pillows Project is connecting breast cancer survivors in a unique way. Thanks to Sabrina for helping our cancer patients through the cancer journey and beyond.