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Donors Give Comfort to Cancer Patients in form of New Chemo Chairs

Thursday, October 7, 2021

[Fergus Falls, MN] Cancer treatments at the Lake Region Healthcare Cancer Care & Research Center (Cancer Center) just got a little more comfortable thanks to hundreds of people who chipped in with donations large and small to fund a $160,000 campaign to purchase 14 new chemo chairs.

The Lake Region Healthcare Foundation facilitated the campaign after learning that the existing chairs, which were part of the original Cancer Center when it opened in 2010, were no longer able to provide the patient-centered experience cancer patients needed.

“Comfortable chairs are a central part in providing exceptional patient care so that patients can recline and try to relax while receiving chemotherapy and other infusion treatments,” said LRH Medical Oncologist, Dr. Wade Swenson. With many functions available, durable chemotherapy chairs provide heat, massage, a variety of reclining options, side tables, footrests and are easy to move when needed. Chairs utilized in areas where TV access is limited also have a mounting arm for individual TV screen viewing.

At a price tag of over $10,000 each, the Foundation facilitated support to help replace the existing chairs, working with groups, individuals and the community to raise the funds including:

  • Giving Hearts Day 2020
  • Sales of Love Your Melon beanie hats
  • The Fergus Falls Classic Car Club
  • Many area high school cancer night events at football, volleyball and basketball games
  • Little Queen of Underwood Aivlee Schmid’s lemonade stand
  • Donations from participants in the 2021 Community Health Challenge “Do Good. Feel Good.”

“We are truly humbled by the community’s continued support to help our Cancer Center and local patients,” said LRH Foundation Coordinator and

campaign leader, Laura Gervais. “Raising funds for the chemo chairs became a matter of the heart. To every single individual and organization that stepped up to help support this cause in unique and big ways. We are forever grateful to all of you and our cancer patients are better served because of you,” she said.

“We strive to treat each patient like we would our own family or friends. They deserve the best care, the best equipment, the best everything,” Swenson said. “We take great pride in providing world class cancer care close to home and this gift will allow us to continue providing quality care in a comfortable and caring setting,” he added

In an effort to pay it forward, our center donated the retired, 11-year-old chairs to HERO (Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization), whose mission is to provide items at low or no cost through a waived fee program, which provides financial assistance for those in need of medically necessary supplies.

About Lake Region Healthcare’s Cancer Care & Research Center

Funded entirely by community philanthropic support, the Lake Region Healthcare Cancer Care & Research Center opened in 2010. The cancer center is one of seven in the state of Minnesota and the only non-metro facility in Minnesota to achieve the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) certification and is also fully accredited by American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) Accreditation Program.

Our complete cancer care team includes a host of medical disciplines including physicians specializing in medical and radiation oncology; surgery; oncology nursing; radiology; medical technology; laboratory; pathology; and numerous rehabilitation specialties. Additional professional staff provides services in psychology, social work, education, chaplaincy, and nutrition to offer a comprehensive and person-centered cancer program to address every aspect of a person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Pictures attached:

  1. The old, worn Chemo chairs/ new & improved chemo chairs
  2. Giving Hearts Day Declaration with Mayor Ben Schierer
  3. Love Your Melon Hats with Cancer Center Staff
  4. Classic Car Club Donations
  5. Little Queen of Underwood, Aivlee Schmid, Lemonade Stand Donation
  6. WCA football cancer night check presentation